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The pundits and the bookies thought that there could only be one winner as Brian McDermott´s unbeaten Featherstone Rovers visited Batley to take on a Craig Lingard´s Bulldogs side who are currently six places below them in the Championship table.

Featherstone overcame a possible banana skin fixture in the fourth round when they beat Halifax Panthers while passage was far easier for Batley who comprehensively beat the Royal navy.

It was blowing a gale at Mount Pleasant and when you factor in the famous slope, it was enough to cause Featherstone concern.

Batley got off to the best possible start when Greg Johnson took the pass on the overlap and avoided a Brandon Pickersgill attempted tackle to dive over in at the corner, Tom Gilmore was unable to add the extras, but the home side had a platform to build on.

Featherstone were level on nine minutes after a great break from Junior Moores who threw a dummy right before passing left to Craig Hall for the centre to canter in. Hall added the conversion and Featherstone, playing up the hill, had the lead.

On thirteen Adam Cuthbertson took a pass ten out from the line and dipped his right shoulder to go through a gap and score by the left upright. Hall added the two for 12-4.

A Hall penalty goal after a late tackle edged Fev´ further ahead on the scoreboard.

Great interplay from Featherstone on the half hour tormented the Batley defence and finished with a Smith pass finding Brandon Pickersgill to cross under the sticks. Hall added a fourth goal for a 20-4 lead, Rovers now pilling away and with a comfortable cushion.

Just before the interval Michael Ward, on from the bench, took the ball as first receiver from the play-the-ball, after a Gilmore 40-20, and went over. Gilmore added the conversion for 10-20 at the interval.

It took seven minutes of the second half, and Featherstone pressure, for them to extend their lead as Hall was on hand to take the inside pass to go ten metres and score under the sticks of a Pickersgill pass. Hall added the conversion for 26-10.

A terrific Matty Wildie short ball hit Luke Cooper at pace to break the line and roll over for the four-pointer. Hall missed a simple looking conversion, but it was 30-10 with twenty-eight minutes remaining.

Within two minutes Brett Ferres hit the ball at speed to crash the line for a try and this time Hall added the conversion with Rovers charging into the last sixteen.

Perry Whiteley took a Hooley pass down the right wing for Batley to get their first try of the second half, as the reversed the one-way traffic and grabbed themselves some respite. Gilmore couldn´t add the touchline conversion.

Whenever Featherstone went down the Batley end, they could score with Joey Leilua passing to Luke Briscoe to step and go over in the corner. Hall added the conversion for 42-14, it was all far too easy for Rovers.

It was end-to-end stuff with George Senior taking a Hooley pass to go in by the left corner flag and when Gilmour added the conversion Batley had twenty.

Matty Wildie was next to register a score on seventy-one, Jones the provider on this occasion, as he motored forty metres down the centre of the field to score under the sticks. Hall added the conversion to make it 48-20.

The half century came up when Riley Jacks was on hand to complete a flowing passing move and score ten in from the right touchline. Hall added the conversion for 54-20.

Another thoroughly professional Featherstone performance as they avoided a difficult tie against the Batley Bulldogs. Brian McDermott will be unhappy at the twenty points which they leaked but delighted that they managed to score more than fifty points against a fellow Championship side as they make progress. What´s the betting on a Featherstone Rovers v. Leeds Rhinos draw in the sixth round?

Batley Bulldogs: Hooley, Whiteley (T), Hodson, Senior (T), Johnson (T), Meadows, Gilmore (G), Gledhill, Kaye, Blagbrough, Buchanan, Walshaw, White. Subs: Leak, Ward (T), Collinson, Manning.

Featherstone Rovers: Pickersgill (T), Briscoe (T), Leilua, Hall (2T, 8G), Gale, Smith, Jacks (T), Cuthbertson (T), Wildie (T), Lockwood, Moors, Hellewell, Cooper (T).  Subs: Jones, McConnell, Trout, Ferres (T).

Half-Time: 10-20.

Full-Time: 20-54.

Score Progression: 4-0, 4-4, 4-6, 4-10, 4-12, 4-14, 4-18, 4-20, 8-20, 10-20 : HT : 10-24, 10-26, 10-30, 10-34, 10-36, 14-36, 14-40, 14-42, 18-42, 20-42, 20-46, 20-48, 20-52, 20-54: FT .

Referee: Liam Moore.




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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 13th Mar 2022 4:43 PM | Views : 22138 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES
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