Doncaster’s unbeaten run is ended by Rams

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Dewsbury Rams took the Yorkshire bragging rights as they downed undefeated Doncaster RLFC in their own backyard.

The Rams stretched their unbeaten run to three successive Championship matches following a strong second-half performance to defeat Paul Cooke’s outfit.

The opening half struggled to get into any kind of rhythm as both defences prevailed in an evenly-contested first half.

However, the visitors thought they had taken the lead when Tom Hemingway pounced on a loose ball when Anthony Thackeray’s hopeful kick came off the post, but the score was disallowed for offside.

Despite Dewsbury enjoying the better spells of possession, Doncaster opened the scoring as they burst out of the blocks after the interval through Scott Spaven. Stewart Sanderson successfully added the extras to make it 6-0.

The Rams came back following strong work from Kieran Hyde as Scott Hale crashed over, although Hemingway’s conversion sailed wide as Doncaster clung onto their slender lead with 51 minutes gone.

Player-coach Cooke then finished off a superb move down the left which saw the talismanic stand-off combine brilliantly with Mike Kelly before diving over, Sanderson failing to add the extras. Dewsbury came back once more as Thackeray powered his way through Doncaster’s line, giving Hemingway the simplest of conversions for 10-10.

Hyde’s well-struck penalty took the Rams into a 12-10 lead which was short-lived as Sanderson fired home a 35-yard equalising penalty.

Greg Scott later finished off a move down the right to go over in the corner before Hyde curled home a beautiful conversion to fire the Rams into an 18-12 lead.

Hyde had the final say with a penalty for 20-12, sealing an impressive away victory.

Doncaster: Butterfield, Scott, Morrison, Welham, Sanderson, Cooke, Nicklas, Robinson, Spaven, Carbutt, Hadley, Kelly, Emmett. Substitutes: Leaf, Wilson, Starling, Castle.

Dewsbury Rams: Sheriff, Morton, Pryce, Grady, Scott, Hemingway, Thackeray, Nash, Godwin, Hepworth, Spicer, Hale, Brown. Substitutes: Hyde, Gallagher, Aizue, Haggarty.

Referee: G Stokes (RFL)