Featherstone Rovers 54 Doncaster 10

KYLE Kesik was sent off as the Dons lost their Northern Rail Cup opener at Championship heavyweights Featherstone.

Kesik saw red for his part in a brawl shortly before half time.

But it was the Dons’ determination and fighting spirit - within the laws of the game - that would have pleased head coach Tony Miller, despite the one-sided nature of the scoreline.

It was Doncaster who took a shock lead after just 66 seconds when Mick Butterfield raced 80 metres to score.

But Featherstone quickly hit back with three tries in five minutes.

And the hosts took advantage of their numerical advantage to run out convincing 11-try winners, including a hat trick from Sam Smeaton.

Mike Emmett’s 68th minute score, converted by Scott Spaven, reduced the deficit.

Dons: Butterfield; Colton, Leaf, Spurr, Sanderson; Fawcett, Spavin; Bovil, P Hughes, Scott, Simpson, Robinson, Emmett. Substitutes: Carbutt, Crawley, Gomersall, Kesik.

* For the latest Dons news see this week’s Free Press.