Featherstone 16 Dewsbury 34: Rams cut Rovers lead as Thackeray shines

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HALF-backs Matty Wildie and Anthony Thackeray were outstanding as Dewsbury repeated their league win at Featherstone two months ago.

The lively duo were involved in all Dewsbury’s best work as they cut the gap at the top of the Championship Shield to just one point. Two-try Joel Farrell was also an important contributor to end Featherstone’s four-match winning run.

Trailing 16-0 after 32 minutes, Rovers cut the deficit to six points with two tries in three minutes shortly before half-time but they fell away again in the second-half.

Featherstone’s Tim Spears and Dewsbury’s Karl Pryce both had efforts ruled out before the Rams took a 21st-minute lead with a magnificent 70-yard try from Farrell that Shane Grady converted.

Dewsbury continued to look the sharper side and quickly shot further ahead. Jason Crookes scored from Thackeray’s kick and Wildie sent in Etu Uaisele, with Brett Seymour adding the first of his four goals with a conversion.

Featherstone struck back when Will Milner forced his way over for a try that Paul Sykes goaled and Ian Hardman and Thomas Minns made the opening for Will Sharp to cross, but the Rams took control again in the second-half.

Thackeray set up Farrell’s second try and Nathan Conroy’s lovely break saw Wildie score.

Rovers replied when Jack Ormondroyd went over from Milner’s astute pass but the Rams had the final word when Farrell’s surging run paved the way for Thackeray’s late touchdown.

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Johnson, Sykes, Minns, Sharp; Milner, Moore; Baldwinson, Ellis, Ormondroyd, Spears, Snitch, Knowles-Tagg. Substitutes: Day, James, Coventry, England.

Dewsbury Rams: Fieldhouse; Crookes, Uaisele, Pryce, Grant; Wildie, Thackeray; Aizue, Conroy, Hepworth, Grady, L Adamson, Farrell. Substitutes: Jackson, Nash, Seymour, Glover.

Referee: M Woodhead (St Helens).