Winless Lions slip to another narrow defeat

Featherstone's Gareth Gale takes on three Shaw Cross defenders. Picture: Jonathan Buck.
Featherstone's Gareth Gale takes on three Shaw Cross defenders. Picture: Jonathan Buck.

BOTTOM team Featherstone Lions slipped to their eighth straight defeat in National Conference League Division One when they were beaten 36-34 at home by Shaw Cross Sharks.

After losing 28-26 at Milford Marlins the previous week, Lions were again out of luck in another close game.

Coach Jamie Rooney must be racking his brains why Lions are still without a league win this season after being so close to achieving promotion to the top-flight last season.

They didn’t help their cause last Saturday by playing too much one-man rugby and giving away silly penalties.

Gaz Williamson was Featherstone’s outstanding player .

Ian Jackson, Gaz Gale, Chris Bingham and Danny Glassell also tried hard but it wasn’t enough as Lions lost to a very average Shaw Cross side who were helped by some poor decisions by the match officials.

However, in the final analysis, Lions had only themselves to blame for their defeat.

They started well enough, with Jackson sending in Jake Perkins in their first attack and Jackson adding the first of his five goals.

They soon struck again when, after Davi Garahan split open the Shaw Cross defence, Gale swooped on a loose ball and raced 55 yards to score to make it 10-0.

After losing injured Josh Blackmoor, Lions found themselves behind when the visitors scored two converted tries in three minutes.

Further Shaw Cross pressure saw them score another to stretch their lead to 18-10.

Danny Glassell rallied Lions with an excellent run but they then suffered another setback when they lost Ben Brailsford to the blood bin.

However, they cut the interval gap to 18-16 when the outstanding Williamson smashed his way through from 25 yards out for a solo try.

Lioins made the running early in the second-half, with Sam Millard going close.

But Shaw Cross got the crucial next score with a length of the field effort and then went over again to lead 30-16.

Garahan lost the ball over the try line as Featherstone tried to turn the game round.

With Williamson constantly probing the Shaw Cross defence, Lions got the breakthrough they were seeking when Gale crashed over for his second try to reduce the deficit to 30-22.

Lions then scored a fine try when Wiiliamson’s superb break was supported by Brailsford who put in Jack Townend.

Shaw Cross swift replied with a disputed game-breaking try at the corner that was converted from the touchline.

Lions had a man sin-binned before they scored off the last play of the game when Townend got his second try after Williamson and Gale were halted short.

Coach Rooney has a big task to lift Lions for tomorrow night’s (Friday) derby game at in-form Lock Lane (7.30pm kick-off).