Delight for Panthers as they pull off great escape

Castleford Panthers players celebrate victory over Eastmoor as the whistle sounds. Picture: MATTHEW MERRICK
Castleford Panthers players celebrate victory over Eastmoor as the whistle sounds. Picture: MATTHEW MERRICK

Castleford Panthers have pulled off the great escape by relegating fellow strugglers Eastmoor Dragons from Division Two of the National Conference.

Panthers have been at the foot of the table for most of the season, but three wins from their last five outings saw them climb above Eastmoor, sending them down.

Eastmoor were first to score after 10 minutes, but Panthers hit back with speedy winger Luke Chambers racing in at the corner. They then went in front when second rower Aaron Phelps crossed and Jimmy Clarkson goaled.

An error allowed the hosts to score again, however, as they led 12-10 at the interval.

Panthers started the second half strongly with centre John Brummitt going over. But indiscipline gave Eastmoor a shot at goal to level the scores.

Calum Butler popped over a drop goal to give Cas a narrow lead again and they were looking good when Richard Scott and Craig Savage combined to send Butler over for a try converted by Clarkson.

Panthers scored again when centre Mathew Bacon raced 50 metres to go over and although Eastmoor scored a last minute try it was the Cas players celebrating at the end.

In an outstanding effort, special mention went to 17-year-old half-back Butler who belied his tender years to take the MOM award.

Two tries in the final 11 minutes helped Lock Lane to a 20-14 win over fellow play-off rivals West Hull in the Premier Division as the Castleford side produced yet another dramatic finale for their supporters.

Tom Wood and Paul Brown were the men to cross for the home side with scrum-half Danny Rowse adding the last of his three goals.

Phil Lythe had given Lock Lane a sixth minute lead as they dominated early with lively backs Tom Wood, Nicky Saxton, Craig Duncan, Jimmy Cryer and Phil Lythe all to the fore.

Half-backs Nathan Fozzard and Rowse varied the attack and they should have had a greater lead, but bombed three early chances after great breaks from Chris Siddons, Joe Groves and Brown.

The well-drilled West Hull, beaten only once in nine games, then stepped up the pace with tries by Josh Hart and Dan Parker either side of the break putting them in front.

A Scott Spaven drop-goal made it 13-6 before Lane hit back as pass out of a tackle near the line by sub Steve Scott was finished by centre Wood and Rowse goaled.

On the next set a remarkable Rowse drop goal levelled the game. He then added another only for Spaven’s second one-pointer to make it 14-14.

However, it was Lock Lane celebrating at the end as Brown slid past two defenders to go under the sticks to wild cheers from the supporters .

Riverside Car Sales MOM were Chris Siddons, Danny Rowse and Craig Duncan. Supporters’ MOM was Paul Brown.

Lock Lane play their final home game of the league season this Saturday against Skirlaugh (kick-off 2pm).

Jack Nicholson’s fine solo try three minutes from time sealed a hard earned 32-26 win for Featherstone Lions over Blackbrook in Division Three of the National Conference.

Rich Frankland, Sammy Sambrook and teenager Adam Hepworth were in fine form with veteran Lee Trigg having a good second half.

Blackbrook scored first, but Lions hit back to lead 16-6 at half-time as tries came from Sambrook, George Nuttall and Hepworth and Frankland kicked two goals.

The visitors started the second half the better as two tries allowed them to level. Although Trigg replied and Frankland kicked the conversion more scores put Blackbrook 26-22 ahead.

However, after Yates pulled off a superb try saving tackle Lions finished the stronger. Frankland’s try and goal put them back in front and Nicholson then came up with his superb effort, darting past three defenders to seal victory.

Lions visit Blackbrook this Saturday in their final fixture of the season.

Manager Keith Bell would like to thank New Sharlston Welfare AFC for sponsoring last Saturday’s match.