Featherstone Lions enjoyed sweet revenge for an opening day loss to Wigan St Patricks as they produced a 12-try romp and a 58-6 win that had coach Jamie Rooney purring.
Ruthless defence, led by Joe Fox, Gaz Williamson, Dean Gamble, Danny Glassell and Jack Beddis, knocked the heart out of the Lancashire side. In the backs Danny Thompson and Tom Carr had their best games of the season while Gaz Gale showed his class.
The substitutes also made an impact with Jake Perkins going in for a hat-trick, Tom Wandless grabbing two and Ben Mawson and crowd favourite Danny Gilbert quickly making an impact.
Lions got off to a dream start as they kicked off and the rangy Gale followed up to pick up the ball before racing over for a try.
Pats put themselves straight back under pressure as they put the restart dead and Carr and Thompson combined to send Ellam over in the corner.
Glassell and Williamson made huge holes in the defence before Ian Jackson sent Fox charging through a gap to make it 12-0. Jackson and Ellam both pulled off superb cover tackles, but Wigan got a converted try.
After a niggly spell Lions got back on top as a Jackson chip to the line saw Gilbert inches from touching down. On the last play of the half Liam Kay chipped from a scrum and the speedy Richard Dedicoat followed up to score, Jackson adding the extras to make it 18-6.
Pats hammered at the home line at the start of the second half, but with George Nuttall, Fox and Gale relishing the physical exchanges Lions held firm.
A Jackson 40-20 saw the quick thinking Wandlass take a quick tap and race over the line.
Lions began to open up as Williamson went on a strong run before teenager Thompson sent Perkins over. Wandless then shot over from acting-half with Carr adding the extras.
Another Williamson break led to Perkins hacking on to touch down for his second try, Carr again converting.
With Mawson, Gilbert and Gamble making fine yardage it was not long before the home outfit scored a superb team try. A fine Kay ball led to Carr racing down the flank before chipping to the posts where Jackson followed up to score. Carr’s conversion made it 44-6. Fox then showed his power to smash his way over and as Lions kept up the relentless pressure Gilbert sprinted 65 metres before unselfishly sending Perkins in for his hat-trick. Carr goaled.
The final try came after Gilbert jinked his way upfield before Kay grabbed a cheeky try .
All the Lions players deserve a mention and the hard work Rooney is putting in is starting to pay off. Lions now have two tough away games, starting with Skirlaugh this Saturday, then Saddleworth.
Featherstone’s Yorkshire Men’s League outfit beat Dewsbury Moor 56-10 with tries by Josh Blackmoor (three), Keiron Redfearn (three), Sam Wilson (two), Lewis Jackson (two) and Kev Eadie with a 75m special. Jack Candlin added six conversions while teenagers Adam Hepworth and Harvey Barker both had big impacts.
Jamie Rooney and Bob Cunningham, along with team manager Keith Bell, would like thank Featherstone Lionesses Charley Blackburn and Grace Cotton who helped do the strapping of the lads while Charley did the physio for the Conference side.