Pack power helps Featherstone Lions to hit back for victory

Danny Gilbert, who had a good game for Featherstone Lions. Picture: Jonathan Buck
Danny Gilbert, who had a good game for Featherstone Lions. Picture: Jonathan Buck

Featherstone Lions hit back from 12-0 down after 15 minutes to win 31-18 at Oulton Raiders in their latest Conference Division One game.

They looked lifeless and lacking in ideas initially before their pack turned the screw in the second half.

If they want to go up into the Premier Division the second-placed Lions are going to have to play a lot better in their final two league games, but they found a way to earn the points.

With numerous key men out from the previous week they knew it was going to be tough against a Raiders outfit fighting relegation worries and Scott Glassell set a fine lead in the pack along with Jack Beddis and Danny Gilbert, who celebrated his engagement to Gemma with another good game.

Josh Maiden was thrown into the fray after an injury to Tom Wandlass and had a fine game, taking control of the middle of the park while Danny Glassell, despite getting a thigh injury in the first half, caused Rangers plenty of problems.

The home side got off to a dream start with virtually a walk-in try wide out and added the conversion.

Danny Glassell had a tilt for the Lions then Beddis put in a couple of big hits to make the home outfit spill the ball. Keiron Redfearn made a good solo run before the hosts waltzed through woeful defence for an easy try. With the conversion added it was 12-0.

Lions then lost Wandless and Danny Glassell for a spell. Maden put up a testing bomb that was hacked dead. With Scott Glassell, Evan Morris and Beddis to rally the Featherstone side their pack started to get a roll on and after Gilbert and Maden went close Beddis burrowed his way over for their first try. Ian Jackson converted.

With Scott Wilson, Scott Glassell and Gilbert doing the hard yards a high Jackson bomb was dropped and Scott Glassell swooped for the loose carry to race over the line. Jackson adding the goal to level the score.

Lions started the second half better than they had the first. Beddis was finding holes around the ruck and with Scott Glassell and Joe Fox testing the Raiders out wide the pressure was kept up.

Danny Glassell went on a 35 metre solo run, brushing aside four men before giving a gem of a pass to Jackson who went over the whitewash for a try goaled by Jackson.

Oulton kept coming at Jamie Rooney’s men, but Fox and Scott Wilson twice pulled off try saving tackles.

Danny Glassell made another fine solo run after an interception then parted to Maden but the pint sized player did not have the legs to get away and was caught inches from the line.

After new Australian signing Mike Wise was held short Jackson landed a drop-goal to stretch the lead out to 19-12.

Scott Glassell, Gilbert and Evan Morris all went close before Fox crashed over wide out. Jackson tagged on a touchline conversion.

A slip by a Lions defender led to a raiders try and goal, but Featherstone wrapped up the points as Beddis and Maden opened up the defence and Fox burst over. Jackson’s goal completed the scoring.

Lions have no game this weekend, but host Milford the week after in their final home game of the season. The following week they travel to Myton Warriors in their last game of their campaign.

Rooney will be hoping to have some troops back for the first of those matches against a Milford game who are a bit of a bogey side for the Lions. Kick-off is 2.30pm at the Mill Pond.