Three tries in the last 12 minutes earned Featherstone Rovers a flattering 30-18 win against 12-man Whitehaven at Big Fellas Stadium on Sunday.
Despite having Dave Allen sent off for dissent in the 19th minute and being disrupted by injuries, Whitehaven were in with a chance of repeating last year’s shock league victory at Featherstone when they were only 14-12 behind in the closing stages.
Rovers maintained their challenge for a top-four place after Jack Ormondroyd powered over to spark a late scoring burst.
Darrell Griffin then forced his way through from close range and Michael Channing sent in Jamie Foster who added his fifth goal to clinch victory.
Foster put Rovers ahead with a 12th minute penalty after Danny Craven’s 40-20 set up the attacking position.
Whitehaven’s experienced forward Allen was initially yellow-carded for dissent and then sent off for further dissent towards referee Callum Straw.
However, the visitors grabbed a surprise lead six minutes later when Anthony Walker crossed and Louis Jouffret converted.
Featherstone’s debutant winger James Duckworth, signed on loan from Hunslet Hawks for the rest of the season, went close before Rovers took an 8-6 interval lead when Robbie Ward made the opening for Kyle Briggs to go over.
Leeds Rhinos dual-registered half-back Jordan Lilley darted in to increase Featherstone’s lead in the 53rd minute but Whitehaven battled back.
Jordan Burns scored a 50 yard try, with Ed Chamberlain adding the first of his two goals to cut deficit to two points before Rovers eventually put the issue beyond doubt.
Whitehaven had the last say when they completed the scoring with former Featherstone player Jessie Joe Parker’s try in the final minute.
Featherstone Rovers: Craven; Duckworth, Channing, Cording, Foster; Briggs, Lilley; Griffin Ellis, Baldwinson, Snitch, Spears, Knowles-Tagg. Subs: Bostock, Cooper, Ormondroyd, Ward.
Whitehaven: Parker; Burns, Holliday, Chamberlain, Ince; Aiye, Jouffret, Duffy, Coyle, Walker, Allen, Perez, Brocklebank. Subs: Carberry, E Chapelhow, Riley, Davies.
Referee: Callum Straw (Wakefield).