NCL: Featherstone Lions edged out while Lock Lane pay for indiscipline

Featherstone Lions opened their NCL home campaign with a narrow 22-18 defeat to Pilkington Recs in Division One.
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In a scrappy first half, the heavy pitch and some early lack of cohesion plagued both sides.

Lions edged ahead at the break through two unconverted tries from Elliott Bell and Linden Metcalfe and 8-0 soon became 14-0 as Aussie Michael Wise pounced on Bell's clever crossfield kick to score under the posts at the start of the second half.

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The home side had looked reasonably comfortable up until that point but a series of back-to-back sets from the St Helens side breached the Lions' defence and within a few minutes, a second converted try from the visitors had narrowed the score to 14-12.

Will Smith in full flight for Featherstone Lions against Pilkington Recs. Picture: Jonathan BuckWill Smith in full flight for Featherstone Lions against Pilkington Recs. Picture: Jonathan Buck
Will Smith in full flight for Featherstone Lions against Pilkington Recs. Picture: Jonathan Buck

With little possession or territory to speak of for the Millpond side Pilkington took advantage of their second half ascendancy with two further tries.

In the last play of the game the industrious Wise scored his second, but it was no more than a close range consolation try. Ian Jackson's conversion rebounded back off the uprights, which summed up Featherstone's afternoon – good endeavour and spirit without quite managing to close the game out.

Lions are at home again this Saturday when they host Ince Rose Bridge.

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Featherstone Lions' 2023 squad ahead of their first home game of the season. Picture: Jonathan BuckFeatherstone Lions' 2023 squad ahead of their first home game of the season. Picture: Jonathan Buck
Featherstone Lions' 2023 squad ahead of their first home game of the season. Picture: Jonathan Buck
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Lock Lane have yet to taste victory this season, with indiscipline being a factor in their 12-4 Premier Division defeat at Kells.

Three of the Castleford outfit’s players were sin-binned for dissent, yellow cards being shown to Danny Sowerby (25 minutes), Lewis Price (58) and, with six minutes left, Ben Thompson.

The Cumbrians went in front in the 18th minute, Jake Parker touching down and Ross Gainford tagging on the goal.

Gainford booted a penalty when Sowerby spoke out of turn, but the Lane got back into the issue when Price touched down on 32 minutes.

The score stayed at 8-4 until three minutes from time when Sam Murtagh raced over against the 12-man visitors.