Lewis Jackson went in for his first hat-trick of the season as Featherstone Lions won 36-16 at Stanningley in Division One of the Conference.
The Lions were superb in the first 40 minutes before becoming a little lack lustre after the break, but they were always in control with Richard Dedicoat having a fine debut and Gaz Gale and Liam Kay making welcome returns from playing with Pontefract RUFC in the winter.
Ben Mawson had his best outing of the season, making big metres with his strong running while Joe Fox and George Nuttall worked hard in the pack.
Lions started well as Gale’s run and chip was picked up by the home winger but Fox smashed him in the tackle, the ball was lost and Jackson was on the spot to score.
Another score looked likely only for an interception to see Stanningley race away to score a try that was converted.
Mawson and Danny Thompson both went close for Featherstone before a pinpoint Scott Glassell pass sent Fox racing through for a try converted by Dedicoat.
Six minutes later Glassell was again the provider as his chip through saw Jackson pick up and swoop for his second try. Dedicoat’s goal made it 16-6.
Crisp handling then led to Gale swatting off three men as he powered over for a nice try.
Gale then put in two massive hits while Dean Gamble and Danny Gilbert put in some fine cover work. The try of the game followed from Gale as he latched onto a loose ball and hared 75 metres to the line.
Lions held onto their 24-6 lead to half-time although they had to defend well as the hosts had three successive sets with Gamble, Jack Ellam, Kay and Dedicoat working non-stop.
Stanningley scored the first try after the break, but Lions hit back after a barnstorming Fox run as Gale and Gamble handled and the latter sent in Jackson for his hat-trick.
Lions started to swing the ball out and a Harlem Globetrotters style 35-yard pass by Nuttall gave Kay room to run in wide out.
Kay then had to pull off a try saving tackle on the flank, but the home side scored a converted try after a chip through.
With a man in the sin-bin Lions had to work hard to keep their 16-point, but Mawson did a lot of hard yards along with Gaz Williamson while Fox made a try-saving tackle.
Featherstone made sure of their victory when Williamson crashed through three men to score.
Lions now have two home games, playing Skirlaugh on Saturday (2.30pm) followed by unbeaten league leaders Pilkington Recs the following week.
Lions’ Yorkshire Mens League side beat local rivals Normanton Knights 38-24 with tries by Alfie Jewitt, Josh Maiden Keiron Redfearn, Cameron Carr, Jack Waites and Josh Blackmoor and goals kicked by Blackmoor and Brayden Bennett.