Jamie Rooney looking for big response after Featherstone Lions suffer heavy loss

Ian Jackson, kicked two goals for Featherstone Lions.
Ian Jackson, kicked two goals for Featherstone Lions.

Featherstone Lions were never at the races in their Division One game against York Acorn as they gave one of their worst home displays for a long time and went down 44-18 to opponents they had already beaten in the Challenge Cup this year.

They will want to bounce back in another home game this week, hosting Dewsbury Moor when they will be aiming to put a lot of things right.

But, take nothing away from Acorn, they outplayed the Lions for most of the game, being yards faster and taking advantage of some poor tackling and marking. They also seemed to want it more when the going got tough as well.

The visitors were only to willing to capitalise on Lions mistakes time and time again and the Lions cause was not helped by a serious of debatable refereeing decisions. Acorn went into an early 12-0 lead and the writing was soon on the wall.

Featherstone were lacking a host of players through bans and injuries, but Evan Morris and Jack Lloyd tried hard to get them going.

Conner Paver made a fine cover tackle wide out, but with the Lions split wide open Acorn scored a third try to make it 16-0. Lions’ woes kept coming as from the kick-off they were ruled offside and Acorn made them pay with a try and a goal.

Scott Glassell tried everything he knew to get the home attack going with Dean Gamble and Danny Gilbert having tilts.

However, York finished off the half with another converted try to lead 28-0.

Lions showed some renewed determination at the start of the second half after the interval team talk from Jamie Rooney.

Gilbert and Sam Candling tried to inject some life into the attack. Teenager Lewis Jackson was thrown into the fray and after he hacked an Acorn chip through dead he went on a sparkling solo run. The youngster then showed a nice turn of pace to score near the posts. Ian Jackson added the conversion and a penalty as Lewis had been kicked after going over for his score with Featherstone reducing their deficit to 28-8.

Lions were down to 12 men following their second sin-binning of the game, but after a Morris solo run Candling had a cheeky tilt before giving a crafty kick to the corner that Paver touched down for an unconverted try.

They felt hard done by soon after, though, when the referee allowed play on after a home player appeared to have had the ball stolen in a tackle. Acorn took advantage to score a try then followed up with another after good handling to stretch their lead to 38-12.

Ben Mawson and George Nuttall kept plugging away for Lions along with Gamble and they scored more points as Scott Glassell went over for a well earned try from acting-half. Ian Jackson converted.

Acorn had the last word, however, with a converted try and Rooney will be looking for a massive response this Saturday against Dewsbury Moor with the game kicking off at 2.30pm at the Mill Pond Stadium.