Second debut is dream for returning Rooney

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JAMIE ROONEY scored on his ‘second’ debut for Featherstone Rovers as they battled back from a half-time deficit to win at Whitehaven.

The 34-year-old half-back, who signed from Gateshead Thunder last week, quickly got involved as he came off the bench at the same ground where he made his initial debut aged just 19.

Rooney dropped a goal, though, to ensure the hosts, who led 22-16 at the interval, never recovered after Featherstone’s fightback was complete.

Gareth Moore went over virtually untouched after 11 minutes before Will Sharp and Ian Hardman each scored tries, but Whitehaven played well to take the advantage.

Craig Calvert (2), Scott McAvoy and Carl Forster all scored first-half tries with Tommy Carr adding three conversions and a penalty just before the hooter. But Andy Hay’s side, who remain in second place, rallied in the second period to avoid suffering a shock loss.

On-loan Hull FC winger Jason Crookes, Andy Bostock and – just after the hour mark – Greg Worthington all scored tries.

Moore improved all three to add to his two earlier conversions meaning Featherstone, with hooker Andy Kain making his 250th career appearance, were in control at 34-22.

Rooney made sure with his one-pointer in the 66th minute but Carr added a second penalty in a minute from time to ensure Whitehaven earned a bonus point.

Whitehaven: Carr; Ainscough, Taylor, Parker, Calvert; Seymour, Thorman; Robinson, Newton, Crellin, McAvoy, Mitchell, Doran. Substitutes: Southernwood, Grayshon, Forster, Jackson.

Featherstone Rovers: Mendeika; Sharp, Worthington, Hardman, Crookes; Kain, Moore; Crossley, Ellis, James, Lockwood, Pick, Dale. Substitutes: Rooney, Annakin, Hirst, Bostock.

Referee: J Cobb (Oldham).