Featherstone Rovers record first away win in hard fought battle with Swinton Lions

Ben Reynolds lines up a kick for Featherstone Rovers at Swinton. Picture: Rob Hare
Ben Reynolds lines up a kick for Featherstone Rovers at Swinton. Picture: Rob Hare

Featherstone Rovers shrugged off a slow start to record their first away victory of 2019 as they came home with a 24-12 success at Swinton Lions.

Up against opponents yet to win in the Betfred Championship this season, Rovers were made to work hard in a hard fought and occasionally feisty game that saw four yellow cards dished out.

They were ultimately too classy for their hosts, but were given a shock when going behind to the first score in the tenth minute.

A long pass from dummy-half by Luke Waterworth opened up the visitors and prop Gavin Bennion crashed over the line for a try converted by Oscar Thomas.

It got worse for Featherstone as Thomas added a penalty to make it 8-0.

However, Rovers hit back three minutes later as good work by Ben Reynolds and a Josh Hardcastle break led to front-rower Jack Bussey going over for a try that was goaled by Reynolds.

Featherstone took the lead on 29 minutes when Luke Briscoe’s break had Swinton back pedalling and full-back Ashton Golding danced his way over. Reynolds tagged on the extras to make it 12-8.

The visitors were quickly in attack again and after forcing a goal-line drop-out they scored again, Reynolds’ well judged kick being pounced on by Bussey for his second try.

Reynolds kicked the conversion to make it 18-8 and it stayed that way to half-time, although it needed good defence to keep out Swinton’s Frankie Halton close to the line.

Early in the second half both teams went down to 12 men with Briscoe and the Lions’ Liam Paisley yellow carded after a little set-to in back play.

Another coming together resulted in most of the players involved in another altercation and the upshot was another sin-binning for Featherstone with Hardcastle sent to the sidelines for 10 minutes.

With their extra man Swinton scored as they spread the ball from one side to the other for Matty Ashton to touch down in the corner.

Rovers recovered their composure and on his return to the field Briscoe went close on a sixth tackle play.

The winger was denied again when ruled to have knocked on as he tried to get the ball down over the line.

The result remained in the balance until the 70th minute when after a kick by man of the match Reynolds forced a goal-line drop-out Featherstone came up with the match clinching try. Reynolds was again the architect and Jack Ormondroyd charged over.

Reynolds completed the scoring with the conversion, although Rovers were a little unlucky not to add more points when Ormondroyd was denied a second try when the offload he collected from Cameron King was ruled forward.

Featherstone finished the game a man down again after King was sin-binned for tackling a home player off the ball, but saw out the remainder to collect a valuable two points.

Scorers - Swinton: Tries Bennion, Ashton; goals Thomas 2. Featherstone: Tries Bussey 2, Golding, Ormondroyd; goals Reynolds 4.

Swinton Lions: Hansen; Butt, Hankinson, Forsyth, Ashton; Thomas, Smith; Bennion, Waterworth, Hatton, Halton, Paisley, Shelford. Subs: Acton, Jones, Brickhill, Fairclough.

Featherstone Rovers: Golding; Render, Harrison, Hardcastle, Briscoe; Reynolds, W Boas; D Smith, King, Bussey, Davies, C Smith, Lockwood. Subs: Day, Cooper, Wheeldon, Ormondroyd.

Referee: Michael Mannifield

Half-time: 8-18.

Attendance: 923.