Leaders Rovers slip to surprise defeat against Swinton

Jonny Hepworth scored Featherstone's first try against Swinton. PICTURE: BOB NUNN.
Jonny Hepworth scored Featherstone's first try against Swinton. PICTURE: BOB NUNN.

Featherstone Rovers crashed to a shock 12-10 defeat against bottom side Swinton Lions at Leigh Sports Village Stadium on Sunday.

Caretaker coach Danny Evans was in charge of Featherstone, who were without interim head coach Ryan Sheridan.

Swinton, who were given 28 points start by bookmakers in the pre-match handicap betting, pulled off a major upset after leading 12-4 at half-time.

Despite the defeat, Rovers regained top spot in the Kingston Press Championship on points difference courtesy of the bonus point they picked up against Swinton.

Featherstone, who handed debuts from the bench to on-loan pair Sam Barlow and James Green, are now level on points at the top with Sheffield Eagles, who have a match in hand.

Tries by Darren Hawkyard and Kevin Penny, both goaled by Craig Harvey, gave Swinton an eight-point interval advantage.

Featherstone’s only first-half points came from Jonny Hepworth’s 13th minute try.

Eight minutes into the second period, Rovers cut the gap to two points when Matty Dale’s try was converted by skipper Liam Finn.

Featherstone scraped a 26-24 win at Swinton last season but they were unable to snatch victory this time because the Lions held on to their lead in a scoreless last 32 minutes

Swinton Lions: R Hawkyard; Penny, Nanyn, Mendeika, Williams; Harvey, Burke; McCarthy, Smith, Riley, D Hawkyard, Sarsfield, Hulme. Subs: Mills, Morrison, Dwyer, Brown.

Featherstone Rovers: Hepworth; Sharp, Worthington, Mellars, Saxton; Kain, Finn; Crossley, Kaye, James, Lockwood, Spears, Dale. Subs: Ellis, Bostock, Green, Barlow.

Referee: Tom Crashley.