Ellis sparks recovery as Featherstone snatch late victory over Dewsbury

Andy Ellis led Featherstone's fightback from 14-0 down against Dewsbury.
Andy Ellis led Featherstone's fightback from 14-0 down against Dewsbury.

Featherstone snatched a dramatic 21-20 win over Dewsbury Rams in Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship clash at Big Fellas Stadium.

Rovers recovered from 14-0 down to level at 20-20 before Danny Craven kicked a match-winning drop goal from 25 yards out with two minutes remaining.

Rovers were penalised from the re-start and Ben Reynolds had a chance to give the Rams a last gasp victory but his kick from half way fell short.

Experienced hooker Andy Ellis, making his comeback after taking a career break, led Featherstone’s recovery after they started badly.

Full-back Josh Guzdek put the Rams ahead in the first minute when he scooped up a loose ball after Paul Sykes’ pass was deflected.

Reynolds converted and then kicked an easy penalty to give the visitors an 8-0 lead.

Jack Ormondroyd was held up over the line in a spell of Rovers pressure before Dewsbury struck again when Shane Grady went over and Reynolds goaled.

Ellis made an immediate impact after his introduction from the bench in the 30th minute by quickly sending in Kyle Briggs who converted his own try.

On the stroke of half-time, Thackeray and Michael Channing made the opening for Rovers winger Kyran Johnson tro cross at the corner to reduce the deficit to 14-10.

Featherstone levelled early in the second-half when Briggs cleverly put in Misi Taulapapa but Dewsbury regained the lead five minutes later when Jason Crookes forced his way over and Reynolds kicked a touchline goal.

Featherstone, who lost twice at home to Dewsbury last season, hit back again when Briggs, Ian Hardman and Taulapapa set up former Sheffield winger Scott Turner’s first try for the club.

Briggs then made it 20-20 with a penalty goal and Dewsbury’s Paul Sykes and Featherstone’s Anthony Thackeray had unsuccessful drop goal attempts before Craven landed the winner.

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Johnson, Channing, Taulapapa, Turner; Briggs, Thackeray; Griffin, Craven, Bostock, Cording, Tagg, Ormondroyd. Subs: Davies, Roche, Baldwinson, Ellis.

Dewsbury Rams: Guzdek; Morton, Grady, Crookes, D Grant; Sykes, Reynolds; Groat, Speakman, Hepworth, T Adamson, Hale, Brown. Subs: Tonks, Conroy, L Adamson, Trout.

Referee: Chris Campbell (Widnes).

Attendance: 1,665.