Haven strike late to break Rams’ hearts

Dewsbury Rams v Batley Bulldogs - Greg Scott scored for Dewsbury
Dewsbury Rams v Batley Bulldogs - Greg Scott scored for Dewsbury

Dewsbury Rams produced a terrific display in Cumbria only for a late penalty goal to see them suffer a 16-15 defeat at Whitehaven last Thursday.

The Rams deservedly led 14-8 at half-time but Haven fought back and a late Jamie Rooney penalty saw them snatch a crucial 16-15 victory in the Kingstone Press Championship play-off race.

Coach Glenn Morrison will have been pleased with his side’s display, despite the Rams having to endure the long midweek trip north.

The visitors began well and took a fourth minute lead when a high kick caused confusion in the Haven defence and the Rams regained possession.

They moved quickly wide and James Craven skipped passed Chris Fleming to score, with Bobbie Goulding converting.

Craig Calvert hit back with an unconverted try when he outpaced the defence on a long run to the line but it was Dewsbury who extended their lead.

A set move saw Karl Pryce leap to pluck a crossfield kick out of the air and send Greg Scott over for the try.

Whitehaven again responded and although Pryce almost intercepted a pass, it created space for Calvert to be sent over for his second.

Goulding edged Dewsbury further ahead with a 35th minute penalty and he was on target again just before half-time as the Rams took a deserved 14-8 lead to the break.

Pryce produced a superb try saving tackle to deny Calvert his hat-trick early in the second half before Dewsbury’s resolve was eventually broken.

Pryce fumbled Rooney’s kick through and it allowed Paul Cullnean to pounce and storm between the posts. Rooney’s conversion levelled matters at 14-14.

Jonathan Schofield showed great awareness to land a 60th minute drop goal to edge the Rams back in front.

Dewsbury’s defence remained tight, twice thwarting Whitehaven raids, and it appeared they would hold on for a vital away win.

Referee Warren Turley awarded Haven a penalty, which they ran, before a second penalty, for a high tackle, gave Rooney the chance to slot over the winning goal and leave the Rams with only a bonus point to show for their efforts.

Whitehaven: Cameron; Fleming, McAvoy, Parker, Calvert; Rooney, Southernwood; Jackson, Newton, Houghton, Doran, Clarke, Paterson. Subs: Thorman, Sice, Walker, Cullnean.

Dewsbury Rams: Morton; Craven, Pryce, Watkinson, Scott; Schofield, Goulding; Nash, Bentley, Jones, Hepworth, Hale, Tonks. Subs: Spicer, Gallagher, O’Brien, Lillycrop

Referee: Warren Turley.

Attendance: 756.