Championship round-up: Featherstone Rovers return to winning ways as in-form Batley Bulldogs continue to charge
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The league leaders ran in nine tries at the Millennium Stadium, including a double for Caleb Aekins, to record a comfortable win over the Broncos and put their 18-36 home defeat at the hands of Toulouse firmly behind them.
The result was never in doubt, especially as Fev established a 12-0 advantage after only minutes. Aekins was the first to break the deadlock before Matty Wildie touched down after finding a gap for his 50th career try.
Joey Leilua and Thomas Lacans produced a quickfire double to extend the lead to 24-0 with barely half an hour gone. There was still time before the hooter for Aekins to get his second of the game.
Fev had to cope with a numerical disadvantage at the start of the second period after Mark Kheirallah was sin-binned but they were still able to add to their lead thanks to Connor Jones. With Kheirallah off the field, however, the resulting conversion attempt was missed by Jack Bussey.
Brad Day made it try number seven with a quarter of the game to go before Kheirallah made up for his absence with a try and a conversion to make it 46-0.
Gareth Gale, only behind Halifax Panthers’ Lachlan Walmsley in the Championship try scoring charts, completed the scoring for the home side before the Broncos got a consolation effort in the last minute through Oli Leyland.
Directly below Featherstone in the table sit Batley, who are now in outright second following a fantastic 48-6 victory away at Swinton Lions after Sheffield lost at Toulouse on Saturday.
Incredibly, it was Craig Lingard’s men’s seventh league win on the spin and it was very much a team effort in Greater Manchester as the Bulldogs’ eight tries were scored by eight different players, while Jimmy Meadows had a 100 per cent success rate with the boot.
The damage was done in the first half with six tries. Meadows opened the scoring by spinning out of a tackle and desperately reaching to ground the ball over the line. Kieran Buchanan doubled the advantage with a great run and sidestep before James Brown bundled over from close range.
Josh Hodson then benefited from a fantastic bit of work from Dale Morton who beat the Swinon full-back to a high kick, with Hodson doing the rest. Morton went from provider to score as he went over in the corner. And there was still time for Adm Gledhill to step back inside and dive over the line for a half-time score of 36-0.
Louis Brogan went under the posts as Swinton started the second half well but it was always going to be a tough ask against the division’s form team.
Dane Manning regained the 36-point cushion soon after while Keegan completed the scoring after Buchanan made an electrifying break.
In the day’s other Championship games, Bradford Bulls and Halifax Panthers fought out a thrilling 22-22 draw at Odsal, while there were home wins for Barrow Raiders over Widnes Vikings, 26-18, and Newcastle Thunder over Keighley Cougars, 18-16.