Badly depleted Featherstone Rovers were edged out 30-22 by unbeaten Championship leaders Hull Kingston Rovers after giving a magnificent display in Friday’s clash at Craven Park.
Lacking numerous key players, Featherstone recovered superbly after being 6-0 down after just three minutes.
They were level at 14-14 at half-time and looked set to pull off a shock win when they were 22-18 ahead with 16 minutes remaining but Hull KR came out on top with late tries from David Hodgson and Maurice Blair.
A first away defeat of the season was extremely tough on the battling visitors who often looked the better side.
Hull KR took an early lead when Anthony Quinlan caught John Davies’ kick and raced 85 yards for a try that Jamie Ellis goaled.
Featherstone levelled in the 11th minute when John Davies went over and Cory Aston converted.
Quinlan was held up over the try line before Hull KR’s pressure told when Chris Clarkson barged his way over from close range.
Aston cut the gap with a penalty goal but Ben Cockayne then scored to put the home side 14-8 up.
Aston booted over another penalty before clever play by Kyle Briggs and Michael Knowles put in James Duckworth and Aston added the extras to level matters at the break.
The Robins regained the lead two minutes into the second-half when Ryan Shaw crossed at the corner but Featherstone showed great character to bounce back again.
Aston kicked two more penalties before they snatched the lead when Anthony Thackeray darted over from 35 yards out.
Featherstone were in the driving seat at that stage but Hull KR then scored against the run of play with an interception try from Hodgson that Ellis goaled.
Blair’s try five minutes from time sealed Hull KR’s tenth successive league win in front of a crowd of 8,117.
Hull Kingston Rovers: Quinlan; Cockayne, Salter, Hodgson, Shaw; Abdull, Ellis; Scruton, Dockar-Clay, Johnson, Blair, Clarkson, Donaldson. Subs: Mulhern, Lawler, Addy, Milton.
Featherstone Rovers: Johnson; Turner, Hardcastle, Ulugia, Duckworth; Thackeray, aston; Bosock, Carlile, Cooper, Knowles, Davies, Lockwood. Subs: Tagg, Briggs, Wildie, Griffin.
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas (Leigh).