Elliott Bell scores Featherstone Lions' second try against West Bowling. Picture: Jonathan Buck

PICTURE GALLERY: Featherstone Lions tackle West Bowling in latest National Conference game

Photographer Jonathan Buck was there to capture the action as Featherstone Lions took on West Bowling in a National Conference Division One game.

By Tony Harber
Monday, 4th July 2022, 9:00 am

The Lions returned to Bradford in an attempt to repeat their early season success over West Bowling and stretch their unbeaten run to four matches, while the home side were looking for a repeat of their previous season’s victory and put a marker down in the first five minutes with a classy back-line move that saw their full-back cross for a converted try.

Six points to the good soon became 12 as they doubled their lead with more impressive handling for a second converted try.

With little territory and a lot of defensive effort it looked like being a groundhog-day afternoon from 12 months ago with only a Mike Wise break offering a rare dart into West Bowling territory. Midway through the first half Lions’ scoreboard troubles tripled to 18-0 down as the home team's playmakers combined to make a further try in the corner.

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

The hard-working Harley Axe got Lions back in the game, first with a trademark dummy and dive over from acting half-back. Mike Wise converted and the same duo then combined to breach the Bowling defence with Elliot Bell backing up Axe’s break to step through and score in the finest tradition of support play.

At 18-12 with half time beckoning the home side were rattled.

Two tries either side of half-time steadied the Bradford tempers, however, and put paid to any hopes the visitors had of getting back into the game.

The second half had the Lions mainly on the back foot. A few injuries caused Fev to reshuffle their lines, with West Bowling taking advantage to let their ball-handlers dictate terms on the park and ultimately on the scoreboard as they ended as 46-12 winners.

Featherstone defended gamely but struggled to close down the offensive dominance of West Bowling. Bingham and Wise led the attacking lines on the few chances Lions had near the opponents line and every single blue and white player put in a coal-face stint on the defensive line.

Lions will now look to resurrect their recent winning run in the next few weeks with two home games.

Here's a look at Jonathan's pictures from the game:

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