Featherstone Rovers v York City Knights 1895 Cup final at Wembley (Sat 17th July 2021)
This was Fev’s first appearance at Wembley since 1983 and their 1st at the new 1, and York’s 1st appearance since 1931 in the curtain-raiser to the Betfred Challenge Cup final.
This game was in doubt earlier in the week due to positive cases in Fev squad, but they all got tested Thursday evening and Friday morning and all available players tested negative, York had to get tested on Saturday morning, but all were negative. It was played in front of a sparse crowd but it got bigger as the afternoon went on, and I was one of the people inside Wembley.
So could Rovers win the 1895 Cup for the town, community, players who missed out and the head coach James Webster or would York win it?
After 2 minutes, Chisholm did a 40/20 kick, then a couple of plays later, Rovers won a penalty and Chisholm kicked to the corner towards Doyle, but he couldn’t quite get it down.
1st Rovers try
Five minutes later, Rovers made the pressure count, and on the last tackle of the set, Chisholm did a magical right foot step and used his pace to score under sticks, successful conversion by Hall.
1st York try
Three minutes later, York replied with their 1st try with their 1st attack, and a kick to the corner and Jones-Bishop leapt above Gale to score in the corner, unsuccessful conversion by Dixon.
2nd Featherstone try
After a quarter of the game, Rovers extended their lead again, as Whiteley dropped the ball, and on the 2nd tackle Kopczak spun and got the ball over the line, successful conversion by Hall.
2nd York try
Six minutes later, York responded again as they had a set restart and Stott did good footwork and scurried over, successful conversion by Dixon.
3rd Fev try
After 33 minutes, there was a set restart for Rovers and Harrison got held up, and on the last tackle , the ball went through hands out wide and Doyle scored in the corner, unsuccessful conversion by Hall.
4th Rovers try
The final try of a brilliant 1st half came after 37 minutes as Rovers did back to back tries as the ball went through hands, Davies broke and passed inside to Brown who sprinted away to score under the sticks, successful conversion by Hall.
Halftime score: Featherstone Rovers 22-10 York City Knights
It was a superb 1st half with 6 tries in total, but Rovers in front at the break, how would the 2nd half go?
3rd York try and a controversial one
3 minutes into the 2nd half, a controversial try for York as froma Rovers knock-on, on the 2nd tackle, Brining scored, but he didn’t get the ball down, but there was no video referee in the 1895 Cup final, so try awarded, successful conversion by Dixon.
4th York try
Just a few minutes later, York had the easiest try as Hall ran into his own man, dropped the ball and Bass went over under the sticks, successful conversion by Dixon and we had a level game at 22-22.
After 50 minutes, Rovers won a penalty and they elected to take the 2 on offer, and Hall converted.
5th Rovers try
Four minutes later, Try number five for Featherstone as from a set restart, the ball went through hands out wide and Doyle scored in the corner for his 2nd try, successful conversion by Hall.
6th Rovers try
After 57 minutes, another Featherstone try and it was another good one as Brown passed to Harrison who broke and scored, successful conversion by Hall.
7th Fev try
On the hour, a 7th Rovers try as again the ball went through hands , Ferres passed to Hall who ran and scored, successful conversion by Hall, surely the cup was coming back to West Yorkshire?
5th York try
With 10 minutes remaining, York had their 5th try as they scored from a Rovers droput and Lewis scurried over, successful conversion by Dixon.
Drop goal for Fev
With 4 minutes remaining, clevr thinking by Rovers as they won a penalty and from the 2nd tackle, Chisholm went for the drop goal and successfully converted it, to give Rovers a 13 point lead.
6th York try
With 2 minutes remaining, York scored the final try of a superb game as Whiteley intercepted and ran the length of the field, Hall couldn’t quite catch him and Whiteley scored, successful conversion by Dixon.
Fulltime score: Featherstone Rovers 41-34 York City Knights
A really entertaining game with 13 tries, as Rovers just edged it.
It was then time for the presentation, and the medals were collected first, and then James Lockwood Rovers captain collected the trophy and walked over to his team mates and lifted the 1895 Cup.
Then Rovers players came across to their end and each player lifted the cup in front of the Fev supporters.
The full game is on BBC Iplayer if people wanted to watch again or watch for the 1st time.
Next up for Featherstone is a West Yorkshire derby away at Bradford in the Betfred Championship on Sunday July 25th with a 3pm kickoff.