FEATHERSTONE Lions kept alive their hopes of avoiding relegation from National Conference League Division One with a 30-14 win at Shaw Cross Sharks.
Second bottom Featherstone host derby rivals Lock Lane at Mill Pond Stadium tomorrow evening (Friday) in another must-win match (7pm kick-off).
Chris Bingham inspired Lions with his best performance this season as they recovered from 14-6 down early in the second-half to beat Shaw Cross.
Dean Gamble and Harry McAllister were also in fine form in the pack while backs Tom Wandless, Scott Wilson, Jake Perkins and two-try Davi Garahan did well in a stop-start game in which Featherstone’s Danny Glassell, Scott Glassell and Josh Blackmoor were sin-binned Shaw Cross’s Paul March sent off.
Shaw Cross scored first but Lions rallied excellently with Bingham and McAllister to the fore.
Ian Jackson’s tackle saw Shaw Cross lose the ball and Garahan picked it up close to his own try line before parting to teenager Jack Ratcliffe who raced 45 yards.
A superb break by Wandlass then opened up the home defence for Garahan to score his first try, with Jackson adding the first of his five goals.
Jackson, Wilson, McAllister and Bingham were prominent as Featherstone’s domination continued but they then suffered a setback when they had a player sin-binned.
Lions retained their 6-4 lead until half-time but they started the second-half badly.
They fell behind and had another player yellow-carded.
Gamble and Wilson rallied Lions before great work by Bingham and Perkins led to Wandless scoring to cut the gap to two points.
Featherstone were now getting a grip on the game with their forwards making big in-roads. Garahan swooped on a loose ball to hare 25 yards for his second try to put them ahead.
More sustained Lions pressure saw them have an effort ruled out. Phil Banks then went close before Danny Glassell eluded six defenders to score a superb solo try.
Shaw Cross resorted to niggling tactics to try to get back into the game but Lions listened to coach Jamie Rooney’s instructions and kept their cool.
Scott Glassell, making a welcome return to the side, supplied a pinpoint pass to send Perkins racing 75 yards for the final score with Jackson maintaining his 100 per cent goalkiicking record for the game.
Featherstone had another man sent to the bin in the dying minutes but it couldnt take the gloss off a good second-half performance from Rooney’s side who are now only two points behind third bottom Hull Dockers who lost at home to Underbank.
Lock Lane slipped to a disappointing 12-8 home defeat against resurgent Ince Rose Bridge in Division One.
Both teams scored two tries but the visitors got the edge by adding two conversions as they bagged their fourth win in five matches.
Danny Sowerby was in outstanding form for Lane who took a tenth minute lead with a try by Joe Willock.
Ince Rose hit back to lead 6-4 at half-time and added another converted try in the 55th minute.
Sam Pycock’s 79th minute try came too late to rescue Lock Lane who are sixth in the table, 10 points adrift of third-placed Milford.