Hardcastle impresses in Featherstone’s cup win

Featherstone Lions show their defensive strength in Saturday's win against Queens. Picture: Dec Hayes.
Featherstone Lions show their defensive strength in Saturday's win against Queens. Picture: Dec Hayes.

Featherstone Lions visit Siddal in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup second round this Saturday after trouncing Queens 46-10 at the Mill Pond Stadium.

Josh Hardcastle, making his first appearance for Lions after a spell in Australia, was in top form as they comfortably won last weekend’s delayed first round tie.

Joe Fox had a big game and Dean Gamble and Scott Wilson were also in good form in Featherstone’s pack.

Back Ian Jackson, Lewis Young and Sam Candlin also played well.

Coach Jamie Rooney was full of praise for all Featherstone’s 17 players and also the squad members who came to support the team.

All 17 that played had come through the Lions junior ranks.

In the first Lions attack, Hardcastle showed great strength to brush aside two men to go over from close range. Young added the first of his conversions.

Good tackling by Glassell, Gamble and Matty Johnson thwarted Queens before Hardcastle twisted his way over for his second try.

Candlin, who has also returned to the club after a spell in Australia with Hardcastle, combined with teenager Reece Dyas to send Davi Garahan over in the corner.

Queens opened their account with a try but Lions soon regained control.

Gamble’s superb cover tackle foiled Queens before his deft chip saw Hardcastle’s pinpoint pass put in Fox.

Both teams had a man sent to the sinbin after a brief skirmish shortly before half-time.

Lions quickly increased their lead in the second-half.

A fine break by Brendon Gibbins saw captain Danny Glassell go over.

Queens latched onto a stray Lions pass to score a converted try that cut the gap to 28-10 but Featherstone dominated the rest of the game with Craig Barker, Adam Hepworth, Sam Millard and Scott Wilson to the fore in defence.

Johnson scored the game’s best try when he brushed aside four defenders in a superb 55-yard individual effort.

Wilson, who had his best ever game for the Lions, then made a lovely break before sending Glassell racing 40 yards for his second try.

Hardcastle’s scintillating break led to Candlin grabbing a 50-yard try before teenager Young showed superb pace to set up the final try for Ian Jackson.