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YOUNGSTERS STAR IN SHIELD FINAL VICTORY

A HARRY Newman inspired second-half saw Featherstone Rovers convincingly beat Leigh Centurions 42-10 to claim the Championship Shield at The LD Nutrition Stadium.

A tight first-half was separated by a penalty from Ian Hardman, in the captain’s final appearance for the Rovers.

Shaun Robinson and Newman each bagged a brace of tries in the second-half to help ensure Featherstone secured a more comfortable victory.

There were nerves aplenty on show from both sides, as errors and ill-discipline dominated the opening 40 minutes. It was Leigh who benefited most from this, as they opened the scoring in the fifth minute through captain Matty Dawson-Jones.

On the back of some strong carries from the Centurions forwards, scrum-half Drew Hutchison put in a testing grubber kick on the last tackle ten metres out from the Featherstone line. Dawson was the quickest to react to put the ball down.

The did not last long, as Rovers hit back ten minutes later. Keal Carlile, fresh from the interchange bench, dived over from dummy-half. Hardman then slotted over the conversion attempt to tie the scores at 6-6.

The game continued to be a scrappy encounter, with tempers flaring on a few occasions. One incident saw go down to 12-men, as Kevin Larroyer was sin-binned for a professional foul on youngster Dakota Whylie.

Further infringements aided Featherstone’s field position and Hardman added a penalty goal to put Rovers 8-6 heading into the break.

Rovers finally took control in the second-half, extending their lead in the 45th minute when Tyler Dupree crashed over from close range, before adding a further score when Harry Newman went over for the first of his two tries, after taking a crisp cut-out pass from Martyn Ridyard.

Leigh threatened to hit-back when Jack Owens sliced through the Featherstone defence to score, but that was as good as it would get for the visitors, as Rovers scored a further 22 points without reply.

Connor Farrell added to his impressive try tally when he went over in the 57th minute, before Shaun Robinson crossed twice. His second was a length-of-the-field try after Newman intercepted a Hutchison pass on his own ten metre line. The centre showed good awareness to offload to the supporting Robinson, who scored his 17th try of the season.

The impressive Newman rounded off proceeding with a classy try from 40 metres out, taking the ball from dummy-half, finding a gap in the Leigh defence before showing too much speed to race away under the posts.

ROVERS: Hardman, Whylie, Taulapapa, Newman, Robinson, Ridyard, Wildie, Cooper, Maskill, Brooks, Farrell, Hardcastle, Lockwood, Carlile, Dupree, Mustapha, Barraclough.
Tries: Carlile (15), Dupree (45), Newman (50, 72), Farrell (57), Robinson (60, 67).
Goals: Hardman (7/8)

CENTURIONS: Owens, Brown, Dawson, Grant, Bailey, Barran, Hutchison, Acton, O’Neill, Balgbrough, Larroyer, Gregson, Bryne, Kilner, Johnson, Follin, Cox.
Tries: Dawson (5), Owens (53).
Goals: Owens (1/2)

HALF-TIME: 8-6
REFEREE: John McMullen
ATTENDANCE: 2123
SMYTHS TOYS SUPERSTORES MAN OF THE MATCH: Harry Newman