FEATHERSTONE LIONS 18
PILKINGTON RECS 24
NCL Division one
Featherstone Lions opened their NCL home campaign with a narrow 24-18 defeat to Pilkington Recs in Division One.
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.
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.
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.
Photos By Bucko Photography