Rugby League: Swinton silenced by Coventry

Featherstone Rovers 29 Swinton 23
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FEATHERSTONE MADE up some of the ground separating them from the top five who will contest the First Division Premiership last night, snatching an exciting victory with their enterprising play in the last few minutes at Post Office Road, writes Dave Hadfield.

Rovers trailed by a single point until their man-of-the-match, Ty Fallins, dropped a goal with three minutes to play. His short kick-off then saw them regain possession and, after Fallins had dummied to attempt another drop goal, Jamie Coventry found a gap on the left for the winning try.

Swinton make a habit of nailbiting finishes, but they must wonder how they managed to come out on the wrong side of this one.

Just before half-time, they were outscoring Featherstone by three tries to one, but thanks to a heavy penalty count against them and the accuracy of Fallins' boot, were leading by only two points. That cushion was whipped from under them by tries on either side of the break, Gary Price crashing over for one and then stealing the ball for Shaun Irwin to set up a score for Carl Hall.

The form side in the division were in danger of losing touch, but tries to Andy Coley and Jimmy Veikoso, his second of the match, brought them level.

Swinton had two close escapes as Featherstone got over their try-line without being able to touch down, but took what promised to be a decisive lead when Steve Gartland's drop-kick cleared the bar.

But Featherstone, who would surely have been too far out of touch for any hope of getting into the play-offs if they lost, kept cool and grabbed what could turn out to be two crucial points.

Featherstone Rovers: Collins; Hall, Irwin, Kimmell, Pratt; Coventry, Fallins; Jackson, Swinson, Dickens, Amone, Price, Slater. Substitutes used: Handley, Lowe, Clarkson, Baker.

Swinton: Welsby; Ashcroft, Veikoso, P Barrow, Price-Jones; Gartland, Watson; Mann, Cannon, T Barrow, Coley, Hulme, Casey. Substitutes used: McComas, Knowles, Evans, Blease.

Referee: D Atkin (Hull).