‘Golden point’ misery for Rovers as they fail to reach Grand Final

Disappointment shows on the faces of the Featherstone players after Sunday's 21-20 defeat. Picture: Bob Nunn.
Disappointment shows on the faces of the Featherstone players after Sunday's 21-20 defeat. Picture: Bob Nunn.

Table-toppers Featherstone Rovers failed in their bid to reach the Championship Grand Final for a fourth successive season when they lost 21-20 to Batley Bulldogs in extra time at Big Fellas Stadium on Sunday.

Batley recovered from 18-0 down to level at 20-20 in normal time before snatching victory with George Flanagan’s drop goal in the sixth minute of the ‘sudden death’ extra period.

The Bulldogs, who finished fifth inn the table, repeated the previous week’s ‘golden point’ 15-14 win at Leigh Centurions. They now play holders Sheffield Eagles in next Sunday’s final at Leigh.

Rovers dominated the first-half and built a commanding lead with tries from Ian Hardman (two) and Greg Worthington and three Liam Finn goals.

Batley then struck an important blow when Flanagan sent Alex Rowe plunging over on the stroke of half-time.

Gareth Moore added the first of his four goals to cut the gap to 12 points.

Finn kicked a penalty in the second-half to put Rovers 20-6 ahead but Batley, who had an 11-4 penalty count in their favour, finished the game the stronger side.

Gareth Potts and Greg Johnson both crossed before Moore made it 20-20 with a 50-yard penalty goal.

Finn failed with two drop goal attempts in extra time before Flanagan slotted over his vital one-pointer.