Stanningley 10 Featherstone Lions 23: Lions promoted to National Conference Premier Division

Featherstone Lions will play in the National Conference Premier Division next season after beating Stanningley in the play-offs final.

By Peter Smith
Saturday, 5th October 2019, 2:44 pm
Updated Saturday, 5th October 2019, 3:45 pm
Featherstone Lions coach Jamie Rooney discusses his side's promotion-clinching win.
Featherstone Lions coach Jamie Rooney discusses his side's promotion-clinching win.

Lions capped a fine season with a deserved victory at Featherstone Rovers' LD Nutrition Stadium, Post Office Road, though the game was in the balance until the final nine minutes.

Coached by former Featherstone Rovers and Wakefield Trinity half-back Jamie Rooney, Lions finished third in the table, 10 points clear of fifth-placed Stanningley.

They had expected to go up automatically after hammering Myton Warriors 56-12 in their final league game, only to be pipped on points diffrerence by York Acorn who beat Dewsbury Moor 88-0.

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Featherstone Lions players and families celebrate promotion.

Stanningley were chasing a third successive promotion and led by four points at half-time, but Lions' big pack took control in the second half.

Lions scored first, after 18 minutes, through prop Danny Gilbert who barged over after they had tapped a penalty in front of the posts.

Ian Jackson converted, but Stanningley hit back to go 10-6 up into the break.

Glenn Metcalf offloaded to send Tom Kent over and Liam Copland added the extras before booting two penalties, both following breaks up the slope by Sam Savage.

Disappointed Stanningley players salute their fans after the promotion final defeat.

The second came after Lions' Gaz Gale tried to hack the ball downfield, missed and booted Eddie Crossland instead, the Featherstone man being sin-binned.

By the time Gale returned, Lions were ahead.

They levelled the scores two minutes into the second half when Danny Glassell showed great strength to touch down from close-range.

Jackson's conversion attempt went wide, but he kicked his team back in front with a penalty goal moments later.

Lions were back down to 12 within a minute of Gale's return, Glassell being penalised for a high tackle on Ben Selby and then shown a yellow card following some afters.

Selby joined Glassell on the naughty step after raising an elbow when he carried the ball inton a tackle, but both players were back on the field when Jackson landed another penalty to make it 14-10.

Lions went two scores clear with nine minutes left as Jake Perkins weaved over from 40 metres out off Dean Gamble's offload and Gale powered in to seal it on 75 minutes.

Jackson missedc both conversions, but completed the scoring with a drop goal on the final play of the game.