Featherstone Rovers came from 6-0 and 22-18 down to beat Batley Bulldogs 30-22 at the Millenium Stadium, and progress to the Third Round of the Challenge Cup.
Batley took the lead with just eight minutes on the clock, as Dale Morton threw a nice dummy and got over. He then added the conversion for a six-point advantage.
Just four minutes later, the hosts got back into the contest as Brad Day exploited a gap to score. Craig Hall missed the conversion attempt, meaning they still trailed by two points.
However, that did not matter, as Ben Blackmore got in just a few minutes later. Hall missed the conversion, meaning their lead stood at two points.
It was soon three tries in five minutes for Featherstone, as Nu Brown managed to step his way through the defence to score his first try for the club. Hall was on target this time to stretch their lead to eight points.
Featherstone’s rate of scoring continued, as it was four in nine minutes, this time Kris Welham got his first try after taking an offload from Brown. Hall was off target this time with the conversion attempt.
After surviving the onslaught, Batley hit back. A mistake at the back allowed Elliot Hall to get in and score. Morton missed the conversion attempt.
Morton then added a penalty to leave six points in the contest at half time.
Just like in the first half, Batley struck first as Tom Gilmore put Luke Hooley over to score. Gilmore then converted to level the scores.
Batley then retook the lead as Jonny Campbell somehow kept the ball alive, and scored in the corner. Gilmore missed the conversion, meaning their lead stood at four points.
With 15 minutes to go, Featherstone hit back again as Jack Bussey’s offload found James Harrison, who went over. Hall converted to give Rovers a two-point lead.
Three minutes later, the Rovers claimed their fifth try. Dean Parata finished off a good move involving Craig Kopczak and Harrison. Hall converted to make it an eight-point game with 12 minutes to go.
They had some nervy moments, but James Webster’s men were able to get the job done. They will find out their Challenge Cup opponents on Monday. Their Championship campaign also starts next week, as they face Batley for the third time in 2021.
Featherstone Rovers: Craig Hall, Ben Blackmore, Kris Welham, Josh Hardcastle, Gareth Gale, Nu Brown, Dane Chisholm, Craig Kopczak, Connor Jones, James Lockwood,Frankie Halton, Brad Day, Jack Bussey.
Subs: Dean Parata, Junior Moors, James Harrison, Brett Ferres.
Head Coach: James Webster
Batley Bulldogs: Luke Hooley, Elliot Hall, Dale Morton, Jack Logan, Jonny Campbell, Ben White, Tom Gilmore, Toby Everett, Ben Kaye, Tom Lillycrop, Kieran Buchanan, Lucas Walshaw, Jack Blagbrough.
Subs: Alistair Leak, Michael Ward, George Senior, Nyle Flynn.
Head Coach: Craig Lingard.