Featherstone Lions’ bid for automatic promotion from Division One of the National Conference will go down to the last week of the season after they and rivals York Acorn both won last weekend.
Lions did their bit with a 24-10 win over Milford Marlins, but with Acorn beating Wigan St Patricks 18-14 the two teams remain locked together in second and third with Featherstone ahead on points difference.
They now travel to play Myton Warriors in the last league game of the season this Saturday with the York team having the easier game at home to bottom of the table Dewsbury Moor Maroons. But, barring a freak result for Acorn, Jamie Rooney’s men know one more win ought to prove enough.
The Lions will have to play better than they did against Milford when they did not complete enough of their sets and were lucky to go in at the break with a lead.
The visitors’ niggly game plan seemed to affect them at times and it was Milford who scored first with a try wide out after a chip through caught Lions napping. Davi Garahan and Harry McAllister did some hard yards for Lions before Scott Glassell’s fine break led to Danny Glassell scoring a fine try that was goaled by Ian Jackson.
Danny Thompson did well to swoop on a cheeky chip under the Lions posts, but Marlins scored again as they took advantage of weak tackling to score wide out. The kick made it 10-4.
Crowd favourite Danny Gilbert entered the field and caused the visitors problems with his strong running. Gaz Gale made a superb touchline run with the last pass going astray and Aussie Mike Wise opened up the Marlins defence but lacked support.
But on the stroke of half-time Jake Perkins latched onto a stray pass as he intercepted the ball to hare 75 metres for a try. With Jackson adding the extras it was 12-10 at the break.
Pint sized Josh Maden started to get Lions moving round the park when he was brought on in the second half and with Scott Wilson making yards Scott Glassell scored a fine try that was converted by Jackson.
Good defence from Thompson, Jackson and Richard Dedicoat kept Milford out before Gale scored the try of the game as he raced 75 metres for the gamebreaker. Jackson added the touchline goal.
With Conner Paver and Maiden doing more good work Gale raced 60 metres, but was held close to the line. In one of the last tackles Paver was injured and was taken to hospital. Team manager Keith Bell, the players and backroom staff wish him a healthy recovery.
A hotly disputed disallowed try denied Featherstone Lions’ young Yorkshire Mens League victory in their Alliance top four semi-final as they lost 9-6 to a Thornhill team containing several first teamers.
Lions were good value for a 6-0 half-time lead with Sam Wilson landing kicks. Thornhill hit back to lead 8-6 and with two Featherstone players sin-binned they added a drop-goal.
Lions then had a man sent-off for mouthing, but thought they had won when Cameron Carr flew over only for a forward pass to be controversially ruled.
MOM was Jacob Bryan while teenagers Elliott Brown, grandson of Featherstone Rovers legend Keith Bell, Rylan Brown and Jake Wood also shone. Steve Bryan coached the Lions with Bob Cunningham not available.
Credit must go to Cunningham and Darren Roberts who have brought a lot of youngsters through this season.