Featherstone Rovers 34 Barrow Raiders 6: Rovers maintain 100 per cent record in Championship Shield

Featherstone Rovers made it a perfect seven in the Championship Shield with a scrappy win over Barrow Raiders at the LD Nutrition Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 30th September 2018, 5:53 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th October 2018, 7:27 am
Luke Cooper opened the scoring for Featherstone.
Luke Cooper opened the scoring for Featherstone.

Seven wins from seven in the Shield sets up a home clash with Leigh Centurions in next Sunday's final.

Featherstone led by 10 points at the interval without really getting out of second gear.

John Duffy's side struggled to get any sort of rhythm together in the opening 40 minutes as both teams lacked discipline, giving away numerous penalties.

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Martyn Ridyard continues to star after his recent return from injury.

After withstanding some early pressure from the away side, and following Anthony Thackeray's sin-binning for a dangerous tackle, Rovers hit the front.

Back-to-back penalties took the home side forward before Martyn Ridyard's kick through hit the post pad and was gratefully gathered and grounded by Luke Cooper.

The Raiders responded in kind, with a bit of luck of their own, as Arnaud Bartes' pass hit Jamie Dallimore on the knee which created the space he needed to slip past the defender and pounce on the loose ball.

Featherstone hit back with two tries before the end of the half. First Josh Hardcastle planted down Thackeray's grubber through before Connor Farrell held off the tackler to extend the lead.

Ian Hardman surpassed 100 goals for the season.

Rovers began the second half in much more determined fashion and soon increased their lead.

Ridyard's perfectly-timed short ball sent John Davies storming through and, with plenty to do, the second rower weaved past the full-back to dive over between the posts.

Davies added another after crashing over from close range on 55 minutes before Ian Hardman, introduced as a second-half substitute, kicked his 100th goal of the season to complete the score.

Barrow had little joy in possession in the second half and things went from bad to worse when Dean Parata was sin-binned for a high tackle on Dakota Whylie.

Josh Hardcastle also saw yellow for a professional foul on Ryan Johnston with four minutes remaining.

Rovers had the final say, however, as Matty Wildie offloaded to Shaun Robinson who raced clear to seal Featherstone's eighth-straight win.

Rovers: Ridyard, Whylie, Taulapapa, Hardcastle, Robinson, Thackeray, Wildie, Cooper, Maskill, Brooks, Farrell, Davies, Lockwood. Subs: Carlile, Knowles, Hardman.

Raiders: Fieldhouse, Carter, Morrow, Burroughs, Gambaro, Dallimore, Charnock, Reilly, Parata, Bartes, Smith, Holmes, Toal. Subs: Johnson, Duffy, Crellin, While.

Referee: Tom Crashley