PHOTO GALLERY: Featherstone Lions take on West Bowling in final National Conference game

The Lions returned to Bradford aiming to repeat their early season success against West Bowling and extend their unbeaten streak to four matches as the home side looked to repeat the previous season’s win and put up a marker in the first five minutes. with a classy backline move that saw their full-back for a converted try.

Six runs on the good quickly became 12 as they doubled their lead with more impressive handling for a converted second down.

With little territory and a lot of defensive effort, it looked like a Groundhog afternoon from 12 months ago with only a break from Mike Wise delivering a rare dart in West Bowling territory. Midway through the first half, the Lions’ scoreboard problems tripled to 18-0 as the home side’s playmakers combined to put another try in the corner.

The home team kicker had inherited a pair of Steve Quinn’s old boots as he added the extra two points from the touchline.

Hardworking Harley Ax brought the Lions back into the game, first with a trademark dummy and a dive over the interim halfback. Mike Wise converted and the same duo then combined to break through the Bowling defense with Elliot Bell backing up Ax’s break to pass and score in true supporting game tradition.

At 18-12, halftime approaching, the home side were shaken.

However, two tries either side of half-time calmed Bradford’s temper and ended any hopes the visitors had of getting back into the game.

The second half had the Lions mostly on the back foot. A few injuries prompted Fev to reshuffle his lines, West Bowling taking the opportunity to let their ball handlers dictate the terms on the park and ultimately the scoreboard as they finished 46-12 winners.

Featherstone defended valiantly but struggled to end West Bowling’s offensive dominance. Bingham and Wise led the attacking lines on the few chances the Lions had near the opposition line and every blue and white player made a coal pass on the defensive line.

The Lions will now look to resurrect their recent winning streak in the coming weeks with two home games.

Here’s a preview of Jonathan’s photos from the game:

Charles P. Patton