Featherstone captain James Lockwood hailed after mad dash home

Featherstone captain James Lockwood received the praises of his coach after making a dash to Yorkshire and back to lead his team to victory over York in the 1895 Cup final at Wembley.

The 35-year-old prop forward had just arrived in London with the Rovers squad on Friday afternoon when he was told his wife had gone into labour and so caught a tube to King’s Cross and a train back to Wakefield to be at her side.

“It was a false alarm, which didn’t please him,” said Featherstone assistant coach Paul March, who was given charge of the team after head coach James Webster contracted Covid-19.

“James caught the train at half-past-five this morning and was back at the hotel at 8.15am and still managed to put in a big shift.

“He certainly led from the front with a massive performance.”

Winger Jacob Doyle scored two tries on only his second appearance for Featherstone to help them to a 41-34 victory over York in the 1895 Cup final at Wembley.

REPORT: Featherstone 41-34 York: Rovers win 1895 Cup final at Wembley

The match was only given the go-ahead three hours before the noon kick-off after Covid-19 scares in both camps but it provided a wonderful appetiser for the main event, the Challenge Cup final between Castleford and St Helens.

Doyle received a late call-up due to a host of positive Covid cases and made the most of his opportunity with a try in each half as Rovers justified their pre-match favouritism, running in seven tries to become the second winners of the knockout competition for non-Super League teams.

The Covid infection meant Rovers coach James Webster was among the absentees as his assistant Paul March, a former York player, led the team onto the pitch in blazing sunshine, complete with the traditional flat cap.

In addition to the disruption created by the pandemic, Featherstone captain James Lockwood was forced into a hurried trip back to Yorkshire on Friday after being told his wife had gone into labour but he was back in time to lead his side to victory and he played a full part in it.

Featherstone were indebted to the experience of full-back Craig Hall, who was named man of the match after scoring a try and six goals, and scrum-half Dane Chisholm, whose influence was obvious from the opening moments.

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