Featherstone Rovers 24 Doncaster 36

Dons team  applaud the travelling fans after their victory against Feathstone, Picture: Howard Roe
Dons team applaud the travelling fans after their victory against Feathstone, Picture: Howard Roe
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Doncaster scored three tries in the last six minutes to claim a stunning 36-24 Championship win against second-placed Featherstone Rovers at the Big Fellas Stadium.

The Keepmoat Stadium side ran in seven tries as they became the first side to beat Rovers at home in the league and end their run of six successive wins.

Dons Stand off Paul Cooke breaks free from Featherstone Ian Hardman to score the Dons 3rd try  ,Picture: Howard Roe

Dons Stand off Paul Cooke breaks free from Featherstone Ian Hardman to score the Dons 3rd try ,Picture: Howard Roe

The Dons got off to a flying start with stand-off Paul Cooke putting record try-scorer Lee Waterman over from close range after just three minutes during their first attack.

Winger Stu Sanderson added the extras to make it 6-0.

Former Featherstone forward Carl Hughes celebrated his return to the side after injury on 11 minutes when racing in from about 35 metres out for a second converted try after latching on to a dropped pass.

There was a let-off for the Dons, who had been under pressure for most of the game, on 19 minutes as winger Tommy Saxton lost the ball in the act of scoring in the corner.

Featherstone’s pressure eventually told, winger Will Sharp taking advantage of some weak tackling to race in from 20 metres for a 21st-minute try under the posts easily goaled by Liam Finn.

Playing down the considerable slope, the home side were level three minutes later after Andy Bostock forced his way over from acting half-back for a second converted try.

Fears that Doncaster had shot their bolt were allayed on 27 minutes as Craig Fawcett put Cooke over from close range with a clever pass. Sanderson again added the conversion.

Matty Dale out-jumped the Doncaster defence from Finn’s kick on the half-hour. Finn converted to level the scores at 18-18.

The Dons regained the lead six minutes after the restart, centre Liam Kay doing well to ground the ball under pressure from Hardman following a neat run.

The outstanding Waterman did well to take Finn’s high bomb under pressure on his own line on 56 minutes.

Rovers drew level two minutes later, James Lockwood racing in from 25 metres out from Finn’s pass.

There were chances at both ends for the two teams as the excitement mounted.

A late challenge on Finn by Brett Waller gave the half the chance to edge his side into a two-point lead on 67 minutes.

Sanderson squeezed in at the corner from a flowing move on 74 minutes to earn his side a 26-24 lead.

It took a try-saving tackle by Hardman to deny Waterman, before Sanderson went in again on 77 minutes.

Waller crashed over for a converted try at the death to kill the game off and give the Dons a rare win at the ground.

Rovers: Hardman, Sharp, Mellars,Worthington, Saxton, Finn, Crossley, Kaye. James, Lockwood, Bussey, Dale. Subs: Ellis,Hellewell,Bryan, Bostock.

Dons: Waterman, Tuffour, Cowling, Kay, Sanderson, Cooke, Fawcett, Waller, Emmett, Trout, Kelly, Spurr, Hughes. Subs: Powley, Carbutt, Castle, Leaf.

Referee: John Cobb.

Attendance: 2,010.