Defeat leaves Rams in danger

Featherstone Rvrs 54

Dewsbury Rams 24

DEWSBURY Rams face an uphill struggle to avoid relegation from the Co-operative Championship following defeat at leaders Featherstone Rovers last Sunday.

The Rams have slipped to second bottom in the table and with relegation rivals York and Hunslet both winning, Dewsbury’s survival is hanging in the balance.

They must now take something from their final game of the season at home to second placed Leigh and hope that Hunslet and York fail to take anything from their games against Halifax and Sheffield respectively if they are to produce a great escape.

The Rams stunned Rovers with a try after just four minutes.

Half-backs Pat Walker and Dominic Brambani linked well to feed full-back James Craven and he showed a neat step to race over for a try which Walker improved.

However Rovers responded in style, scoring five first half tries.

Former Dewsbury star Liam Finn sold a dummy to break free before sending Ben Cockayne over for a try which Finn improved.

Featherstone’s forwards began to dominate and Matty Dale forced his way over wide on the left before Finn and Stuart Dickens linked to send second row Jon Grayshon over. Finn added the conversion to the latter try and Rovers led 16-6.

Another former Ram, Andy Bostock, produced a neat pass to send Ross Divorty over for 26th minute try and Finn converted.

Bostock then blocked a Dewsbury grubber kick and the ball rebounded to stand-off Jonny Hepworth, who raced 90 yards to score. Finn converted and Rovers were well set at 28-6.

Dewsbury deserved huge credit as they tried to mount a second half fightback.

Brambani lofted a high kick to the in-goal area and Walker pounced to score and he also added the goal.

Dale replied with an unconverted try before the Rams had their best spell of the match.

Luke Blake forced his way over on the left before Andy Smith released Michael Wainwright and he stormed 55 yards to the line.

Walker added both conversions and there was real hope that Dewsbury would gain at least a bonus point from the match as they reduced the deficit to 32-24.

However, it was Rovers who responded with another scoring spree, which brought a further four tries in the final 23 minutes.

Cockayne barged over for his second, which Finn goaled, before Tony Tonks capped a fine display with tries after 67 and 75 minutes to end any hopes Dewsbury had of getting something from the game.

Tonks broke in the final minute and sent Ian Hardman to the line, as Featherstone brought up their half century. Finn converted.

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Powell, Smeaton, Cockayne, Saxton; Hepworth, Finn; T Tonks, Kaye, Dickens, Grayshon, Bostock, Dale. Subs (all used): Netherton, Mvududu, Divorty, Worthington.

Dewsbury Rams: Craven; Wainwright, Welham, Faal, Buchanan; Walker, Brambani; Lockwood, Blake, Crossley, Spicer, Fletcher, J Tonks. Subs (all used): England, Chapman, Smith, Nicholson.

Referee: Chris Leatherbarrow. Attendance: 1782.