Doncaster failed to lay their bogey as their run of defeats against Dewsbury continued in yesterday’s Championship clash at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Apart from a sloppy opening spell, this was one of the Dons better performances in a run defeats against the West Yorkshire side dating back to the 2008 season.
But that counted for little as they slumped to their ninth league defeat in as many starts.
There was more bad news for Dons’ fans when player-coach Paul Cooke announced after the game that he will only play in future if the team is short of numbers.
He left himself out and paired loan signing Ben Reynolds with Danny Nicklas as he begun the tough task of finding a suitable replacement.
Cooke, who celebrates his 34th birthday on Friday, claimed to be feeling his age and admits that he has not been at his best this season.
Dewsbury took advantage of some poor defensive play to race into an early 10-0 lead.
Second-rower Joel Farrell raced through unopposed from 15 metres out after just four minutes with winger Dale Morton scoring in the corner four minutes later.
The Dons got back into the game on 14 minutes.
Second-rower Mike Kelly won the race to Danny Nicklas’s grubber-kick over the line but agonisingly couldn’t get a hand to the ball.
But they didn’t come away empty-handed as Dewsbury centre Jason Crookes passed straight to winger Sam Doherty from the resulting play and he touched down near enough for the recalled Stu Sanderson to convert.
They took the lead on 19 minutes, skipper Kyle Kesik sending former Dewsbury forward Mike Emmett over from close range for a converted try.
Dewsbury stand-off Aaron Brown then dropped the ball with a clear line in front of him following a good break and full-back Kieran Hyde dropped the ball over the line from acting half-back before Brown raced 80 metres to score after intercepting Reynold’s pass and then riding Shaun Leaf’s cover tackle.
Rams extended their lead on 54 minutes, the referee brushing aside Leaf’s claims that he had prevented centre Scott Hale from grounding the ball. Although the Dons carved out only the odd chance in the second half they remained in the frame until the 66th minute when Crookes made amends for his earlier mistake when winning the race to a kick after a home player had lost the ball in his own 20.
Dons: Scott; Doherty, Welham, Leaf, Sanderson; Nicklas, Reynolds; Tyson-Wilson, Kesik, Waller,Kelly, Snitch, Emmett. Subs: Carbutt, Spiers, Clark, Foster.
Dewsbury: Hyde; Morton, Crookes, Hale, Grant; Brown, Thackeray; Hepworth, Hemmingway, Jackson, Farrell, Toby Adamson, Luke Adamson. Subs: Wildie, Haggarty, Smith, Beckett.