Championship round-up: Halifax Panthers and Dewsbury Rams suffer heavy defeats as Connor Wynne’s late double gives Featherstone Rovers dramatic victory over Widnes Vikings

Halifax Panthers and Dewsbury Rams both suffered heavy defeats in the Championship this afternoon while Connor Wynne’s dramatic late double helped Featherstone Rovers end Widnes Vikings’ unbeaten start. Photo by Simon Hall - Halifax Panthers v Sheffield Eagles.Halifax Panthers and Dewsbury Rams both suffered heavy defeats in the Championship this afternoon while Connor Wynne’s dramatic late double helped Featherstone Rovers end Widnes Vikings’ unbeaten start. Photo by Simon Hall - Halifax Panthers v Sheffield Eagles.
Halifax Panthers and Dewsbury Rams both suffered heavy defeats in the Championship this afternoon while Connor Wynne’s dramatic late double helped Featherstone Rovers end Widnes Vikings’ unbeaten start. Photo by Simon Hall - Halifax Panthers v Sheffield Eagles.
Halifax Panthers and Dewsbury Rams both suffered heavy defeats in the Championship this afternoon while Connor Wynne’s dramatic late double helped Featherstone Rovers end Widnes Vikings’ unbeaten start.

The Panthers lost 46-0 at home to Sheffield Eagles who maintained their own perfect record in the league. The visitors ran in eight unanswered tries, including two apiece for James Glover and Jones-Bishop, as Fax were soundly beaten.

Liam Finn’s men were hoping to return to winning ways following an inconsistent start to the season. But three tries in 12 first half minutes gave them a mountain to climb.

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Aaron Murphy was the first to go over after receiving a short ball at the line before Glover got his first of the afternoon after James Saltonstall's attempt to knock the ball dead went wrong. Jones-Bishop spun his way over for try number three, while try number four arrived just before the hooter through the same man.

While Fax had their chances, Sheffield were proving clinical with theirs. It got worse for Fax five minutes after the restart when Vila Halafihi went over from dummy half before Matty Marsh, on the back of consistent pressure, stepped through a big hole in the Fax defence after throwing a dummy.

Former Halifax man Kyle Wood got on the trysheet after collecting a kick from Jones-Bishop before the Panthers’ misery was completed with Glover’s second with two minutes remaining.

It was a similar chastening experience for Dewsbury Rams who conceded 50 points at Swinton Lions. However, the visiting fans did have four tries from Curtis Davies, Owen Restall, the returning Brad Graham and Travis Corion to cheer.

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In a blistering start to the contest, Mitch Cox gave the home side an early lead but the Rams immediately hit back thanks to Jacob Hookem’s offload into the arms of Davies.

It got better for Dewsbury in the 12th minute when Matt Garside produced an exquisite offload to Restall who did the rest.

However, three tries in an eight-minute spell changed the complexion of the game, with Jayden Hatton, Josh Eaves and Tee Ritson all scoring to give Swinton a 20-12 half-time lead.

Graham, making his first start of 2024 after injury, got the Rams right back into the game two minutes after the restart with Calum Turner’s conversion reducing the deficit to just two points.

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However, the visitors’ joy was short-lived as Daniel Spencer-Tonks responded immediately. Corion’s try got the Rams back to within four points but another superb Swinton spell - two tries in four minutes from Rhys Williams and Dan Abram - swung the game again.

Two very late tries from Spencer-Tonks and Ritson added gloss to the scoreline as Dewsbury suffered a third successive defeat.

Featherstone Rovers claimed a second straight win at home to previously unbeaten Widnes Viking - but they had to achieve it in a dramatic late fashion.

Gareth Gale and Brad England gave Fev the perfect start before Max Roberts got the visitors on the board. However, Corey Hall scored a crucial try on the half-time hooter to make it 16-6.

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And Rovers started the second half like they ended the first as Brad Day forced himself over to extend the lead to 22-6.

However, a double from Ryan Ince either side of a Jack Owens try incredibly put the Vikings in front at 22-24 only for Wynne’s dramatic double late intervention to seal a memorable 32-24 triumph.

Elsewhere, Wakefield Trinity beat Batley Bulldogs 34-14 at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium while York Knights got their first win of the season at home to in-form Bradford Bulls and Doncaster gained a superb 38-6 win at Barrow Raiders.