Feather­stone take top spot in Shield

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - RUGBY LEAGUE -

CHAM­PI­ONSHIP SHIELD: Feather­stone Rovers’ hopes of a home clash in the Shield fi­nal re­ceived a huge boost with a 22-4 vic­tory over Leigh, de­spite hav­ing just 14 fit play­ers avail­able.

Rovers leapfrogged Leigh into first place and know that if they win their re­main­ing games against Sh­effield, Dews­bury, Swin­ton and Bar­row, they will host this year’s Cham­pi­onship Shield fi­nal.

Feather­stone were first on the board through Josh Hard­cas­tle’s try.

With 25 min­utes gone, John Davies, shunted in at cen­tre due to a lack of num­bers, put Rovers fur­ther in front.

Just be­fore the in­ter­val, a su­perb piece of in­di­vid­ual play from An­thony Thack­eray in­creased the host’s ad­van­tage.

The ball was moved at pace along the at­tack­ing line to Thack­eray who sold a dummy be­fore nip­ping round the de­fender and stretch­ing out to plant the ball down.

Pro­ceed­ings took a sour turn at the very end of the half when a com­ing to­gether in the Leigh in-goal saw Ilias Ber­gal and Hard­cas­tle sin-binned.

Leigh re­sponded 20 min­utes into the sec­ond half when Matty Daw­son-Jones went over in the right cor­ner fol­low­ing an ini­tial break from Rhys Evans on the op­po­site touch­line.

Rovers weath­ered a fiveminute on­slaught from the Cen­tu­ri­ons who were threat­en­ing for a sec­ond af­ter sev­eral sets close to the Rovers line.

The game de­scended into a real bat­tle as both sides con­ceded pos­ses­sion with soft penal­ties and er­rors.

But the vic­tory was sealed when Taula­papa in­ter­cepted the ball and fed the sup­port­ing Matty Wildie who fin­ished in the cor­ner, to the de­light of the Feather­stone sup­port­ers.

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