Featherstone Rovers leapfrog Leigh Centurions after hard earned victory

Featherstone Rovers players celebrate Luke Briscoe's try against Leigh Centurions. Picture: James Heaton
Featherstone Rovers players celebrate Luke Briscoe's try against Leigh Centurions. Picture: James Heaton

Featherstone Rovers withstood a late fightback to record a hugely important 24-20 victory in their home game against Leigh Centurions.

In front a cracking crowd of 3,104 at the LD Nutrition Stadium, Ryan Carr's men produced a strong all-round display to move above Leigh up to fourth place in the Betfred Championship.

Brad Day dives over for a try for Featherstone Rovers against Leigh Centurions. Picture: James Heaton

Brad Day dives over for a try for Featherstone Rovers against Leigh Centurions. Picture: James Heaton

Fev turned round a 14-12 deficit at half-time to lead 24-14 going into the closing stages and then held out in a nervy finish after the visitors scored a late try to keep the result in doubt right up to the final hooter.

Leigh made the better start and were ahead inside three minutes as former Rovers player Martyn Ridyard sent Cory Paterson over for a try that was converted by Ridyard.

Featherstone were soon level with back rower Brad Day charging over for a try and Dane Chisholm goaling.

They went close to a second score when Ash Golding stole the ball from a Leigh player and put a quick kick in only for the ball to just roll dead.

But it was the visitors celebrating on 19 minutes as they moved the ball quickly and Liam Forsyth raced over in the corner for an unconverted try.

Rovers hit back again and went in front round the half-hour. A good move saw Luke Briscoe found in space out wide and he showed his usual speed to race in for a try. He was able to go round behind the posts to make the conversion easier and Chisholm duly sent the ball between the uprights to make it 12-10.

The home team were not able to maintain the advantage to half-time, however, as Paterson found a gap in the Featherstone defence and touched down for a try that made it 14-12 at the break.

A brilliant start to the second half saw Rovers turn the game back in their favour when inspirational half-back Chisholm produced an outstanding solo effort in coming up with an interception before charging 80 metres downfield to score. Ben Reynolds took over the kicking duties and landed the conversion to put the hosts 18-14 up.

Featherstone then survived some pressure before they were able to stretch their lead to 10 points with Josh Walters charging onto a Reynolds pass to score and Chisholm adding the extras.

Golding thought he had another try as he beat Gregg McNally in the air to grab the ball, but he was judged to have knocked on.

Rovers looked to be managing the closing stages of the game well, but a nervy last two minutes was ensured when Forsyth crossed for his second try and Ridyard added the conversion.

However, Fev saw out the last moments to register one of their most important wins of the campaign.

Scorers - Featherstone: Tries Day, Briscoe, Chisholm, Walters; goals Chisholm 3, Reynolds. Leigh: Tries Paterson 2, Forsyth 2; goals Ridyard 2.

Featherstone Rovers: Golding; Dagger, Hardcastle, Carey, Briscoe; Reynolds, Chisholm; Makatoa, Bussey, Albert, Day, Walters, Lockwood. Subs: Cooper, Maskill, Harrison, Ormondroyd.

Leigh Centurions: McNally; Forsyth, Thornley, Costello, Marsh; Ridyard, Woods; Douglas, Higham, Thompson, T Adamson, Paterson, L Adamson. Subs: Hood, Cator, Emmitt, Hock.

Referee: A Moore.

Half-time: 12-14.

Attendance: 3,104.