1895 Cup

17 Jul 2021

Featherstone Rovers win AB Sundecks 1895 Cup

Featherstone Rovers win AB Sundecks 1895 Cup

Jacob Doyle scored two tries on his second appearance for Featherstone Rovers to help them to a 41-34 victory over York City Knights in the 1895 Cup final.

The match was only given the go-ahead three hours before the noon kick-off after Covid-19 scares in both camps.

Doyle received a late call-up due to a host of positive coronavirus cases and claimed a try in each half as Rovers ran in seven tries to become the second winners of the knockout competition for non-Super League teams.

Rovers coach James Webster was among the absentees, due to Covid, as his assistant Paul March led the team out in blazing sunshine.

Featherstone captain James Lockwood was forced into a hurried trip back to Yorkshire on Friday as his wife had gone into labour but he was back in time to lead his side to victory.

Featherstone were indebted to the experience of man of the match Craig Hall, who scored a try and six goals, and scrum-half Dane Chisholm.

His third-minute 40-20 gave his side the momentum and he dummied his way over for the opening score after six minutes.

Half-back Mikey Lewis was equally influential for the Knights and it was from his lofted kick that Ben Jones-Bishop scored their first try.

When York winger Perry Whiteley was blinded by the sun attempting to take another Chisholm kick, Rovers punished the error as Craig Kopczak spun out of the tackle of his ex-Wakefield team-mate Danny Kirmond to score their second try.

York's Marcus Stock bulldozed his way over for a solo try but Featherstone struck twice in the last seven minutes of the first half, John Davies putting Doyle and Fa’amanu Brown over for tries that saw them lead 22-10 at the break.

York hit back with two tries in four minutes to draw level.

Kriss Brining looked to have lost control of the ball as he forced his way to the line but referee Robert Hicks - without access to a video referee - awarded the try, while Jason Bass grabbed an opportunist score.

Kieran Dixon’s goals levelled it at 22-22 but Hall restored his side’s lead with a penalty and converted quickfire tries from Doyle and James Harrison.

Hall then crossed over but the Knights produced a late rally that earned them tries through Lewis and Whiteley, with Dixon taking his goal tally to four on the 200th appearance of his career.

Featherstone captain James Lockwood received the praises of his coach after making a dash to Yorkshire and back to lead his team to victory over York in the 1895 Cup final at Wembley.

The 35-year-old prop forward had just arrived in London with the Rovers squad on Friday afternoon when he was told his wife had gone into labour and so caught a tube to King's Cross and a train back to Wakefield to be at her side.

"It was a false alarm, which didn't please him," said Featherstone assistant coach Paul March, who was given charge of the team after head coach James Webster contracted Covid-19.

"James caught the train at half-past-five this morning and was back at the hotel at 8.15am and still managed to put in a big shift.

"He certainly led from the front with a massive performance."