Featherstone Rovers v Widnes Vikings Match report by Daniel Crossfield (a dedicated flatcapper watching from home)

Featherstone Rovers v Widnes Vikings 1895 Cup semi final Sunday 6th June 2021

This was a chance for both of these Championship teams to get to Wembley as it was a cup semi-final.  It was free to watch on OurLeague too, and fans of both sets of teams were in so that would make for a good atmosphere.

Could Featherstone get to Wembley for the first time since 1983? The winners will play York City Knights in the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup final on Saturday July 17th 2021.

It was played at The Millennium Stadium

1st Featherstone try

It had been good early pressure from Featherstone and after five minutes they won a penalty for a high tackle and then near the Widnes line, they won another penalty and from that set, they shifted the ball wide and Day charged his way over the line, successful conversion by Hall.

2nd Rovers try

Two  minutes later and it was back to back tries for Fev as Widnes gave away another penalty, and it was a well worked try by Rovers as the  ball was worked through hands and Lockwood offloaded to Day who broke from 20metres out to score and Day had 2 tries in two minutes, unsuccessful conversion by Hall as he hit the post.

3rd Rovers try

After 13 minutes it was another Featherstone try as Kopczak went over from close range, after Rovers as a team ran 100 metres up the field, successful conversion by Hall and Rovers were in dreamland.

Three minutes later, Widnes got near to the Rovers line for the first time, but  Jones intercepted for Rovers from his own 10 metre line and ran a long way, but Spedding bundled him into touch on Widnes’ 20metre line.

Just past the midway point of the first half, another flowing move by Rovers and the kick forced a goal line dropout by Widnes but on the 2nd tackle, Rovers lost the ball.

Disallowed Widnes try

Two minutes later, Widnes did a line break and had another set of 6 as they shifted it wide to Hatton who thought he’d scored but it was a forward pass.

After 28 minutes, O’Neill spun and tried to score but was held up.

1st Widnes try

A minute later, Widnes scored their 1st try as Lowton stole the ball from Rovers which led to Tyrer juggling the ball before scoring under the posts, successful conversion by Tyrer.

2nd Widnes try

After 33 minutes, Widnes scored a 2nd try and it was a good try as Lowton stretched his arms out to score, successful conversion by Tyrer and all of a sudden it was only 16-12 to Rovers.

4th Rovers try

Just before halftime , there was a 4th try for Featherstone and it was a brilliant one as Brown broke and made 70 yards before passing to Halton who scored in the corner, successful conversion by Hall.

Halftime score: Featherstone Rovers 22-12 Widnes Vikings

It was a thrilling first half of rugby league cup semi final action, a dream start for Featherstone, then Widnes had their purple patch and Rovers ended the half with a superb try, could Featherstone hold on in the 2nd half and make it to Wembley?

3rd Widnes try

It was a slow start to the 2nd half but 18 minutes into the 2nd half,  Widnes won a penalty and Lawton strolled over the line to score, successful conversion by Tyrer and it was a four point game with around 20 minutes remaining.

Rovers penalty

After 62 minutes, Holmes broke and was ankle tapped and won a penalty, Hall successful conversion.

Four minutes later and there was a huge chance for Widnes as Spedding kicked ahead to get them into the Rovers half, then Owens’ kick nearly came off before it went dead.

After 73 minutes, Featherstone won a penalty and eventually the ball came to Hall who attempted a drop goal but he shanked it.

Three minutes later, Day broke and passed to a fellow player, and then Rovers kicked and forced a goal line drop out by Widnes who went short from it but Lawton lost the ball.

With two minutes remaining, Widnes had men on the left, but Cook threw it out wide and it went out of play.

In the last minute,  there was another chance for Widnes but the ball went into touch

Fulltime score:  Featherstone Rovers 24-18 Widnes Vikings

The 2nd half was a lot more hard-fought and Widnes could have easily taken it to golden point, but it was Featherstone who held on.

Featherstone Rovers are off to Wembley Stadium London for the first time since 1983 and they will be there on Saturday July 17th to face York City Knights in the 1895 Cup final as the curtain-raiser to the Challenge Cup final between St Helens and Castleford Tigers.  I just hope that the government don’t delay the final easing of lockdown as it will enable fans to go and enjoy a day out at Wembley.

Castleford and Featherstone will pretty much be deserted that day if fans are allowed to go to Wembley, come on Fev lets win a trophy and bring some silverware back to West Yorkshire.

Highlights of this semi-final are at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0IDVRpa4G8

Next up for Featherstone is Bradford Bulls in the Betfred Championship on Sunday 13th June 2021 at the Millennium Stadium with a 4:30pm kickoff.

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