The game of the round in the Betfred Championship was the second against third encounter as Featherstone Rovers entertained the surprise package of 2022, Barrow Raiders, with both sides having plenty to play for.
A win for Rivers would see them go back to the top, jumping ahead of the Leigh Centurions who recorded a big win over Widnes during the earlier kick-off, while a Barrow win would see them level on points with their hosts at the end of the round.
As the sun started to dip, Mark Kheirallah made his second appearance for Featherstone against a Barrow side packed with experience.
Within seconds of the start Rovers went in for an opening try with Luke Briscoe benefitting from a spilled ball from the kick off to go over in the corner. Craig Hall was unable to add the extras after the perfect try scoring start from the home side.
The second try of the game came on twelve minutes when Ryley Jacks found a gap in the defensive line to ghost through for the four pointer. Hall slotted his conversion through the uprights for a 10-0 lead, Barrow already with a lot to do.
Fast hands bamboozled the Raiders defence on twenty-three when Ben Hellewell took a Mark Kheirallah pass to go in for the third try. Hall was again accurate with the boot for a 16-0 lead, Brian McDermott´s men making a mockery of the league positions.
It was all one-way traffic when the flat cappers went in for their fourth try of the evening on thirty-six when Connor Jones used his strength to go in from short range. Hall added the conversion for 22-0 after a dominant first half performance.
Moments before the half time hooter Shane Toal rose above the Featherstone defence to take a Jake Carter high kick and drop over the line. Jarred Sammut added the conversion from the touchline, the door slightly ajar, as the visitors trailed 6-22 at the interval.
Barrow were playing down the hill in the second half with the hope that they could give Featherstone more of a game in the second forty.
Riley Jacks got his second of the evening on fifty-four as Fev turned on the speed again to go in and when Hall added the conversion for 28-6 and hope of a Barrow fightback seemed to have ebbed away.
Two minutes later and the home side were in again with James Lockwood the man in the right place to take the ball and get over the whitewash. Hall again added the goal for 34-6, it was turning into a rout.
On the kick-off return Ryley Jacks completed his hat-trick as he worked his way through the downhearted Barrow defence. The Hall conversion was the simplest of the afternoon to bring up the forty, Featherstone giving the ball plenty of air and ripping the visitors apart.
On sixty-nine the home side were in again with Hellewell picking up his second of the afternoon and when Hall bent his kick between the uprights it was 46-6 and a devastating performance.
The fifty was brought up with a few minutes remaining with a great run from John Davies providing the chance for Matty Wildie to go over. Hall added the conversion for 52-6, a long drive back to Cumbria for the losers and their supporters.
More misery for Barrow in the dying seconds as Kheirallah found his way over the whitewash for a deserved try after being the provider for most of the game. Hall kicked his ninth goal of the afternoon for 58-6.
Barrow were never able to get started against a totally dominant Featherstone Rovers who appeared to play the game at a different pace to their opponents. A Jacks hat-trick and a brace from Hellewell did the try scoring damage with Hall piling on the hurt with his boot. Rovers are back on top of the pile with Barrow slipping further from the promotion position despite having a great season in the second flight after promotion last season.
Featherstone Rovers: Kheirallah (T), Briscoe (T), Hall (9G), Hellewell (2T), Gale, Wildie (T), Jacks (3T), Kopczak, Jones (T), Lockwood (T), Bussey, Davies, Moors. Subs: Holmes, Cooper, Field, McConnell.
Barrow Raiders: Cresswell, Ritson, Croft, Toal (T), Carter, Sammut (G), Carter, Forster, Wood, Gillam, Langtree, Stack, Crellin. Subs: Mossop, Hopkins, Brooks, Iaria.
Score Progression: 4-0, 8-0, 10-0, 14-0, 16-0, 20-0, 22-0, 22-4, 22-6 : HT : 26-6, 28-6, 32-6, 34-6, 38-6, 40-6, 44-6 46-6, 50-6, 52-6, 56-6, 58-6 : FT.
Referee: Aaron Moore.