Hull FC starlet join Lions on Loan

Hull FC’s Denive Balmforth to join Lions on loan!

We are pleased to announce the loan signing of Denive Balmforth from Hull FC with immediate effect.

20 years old Denive hails from Leeds and stands 5 feet 11. He plays primarily at hooker or loose-forward and will be joining the Lions for a month.

A highly promising player with a big future in the game, he made his Super League debut for Hull FC back in 2022, whilst in 2023 he played a number of games on loan at the then Championship club, Newcastle Thunder.

We’d like to thank everyone concerned at Hull FC for helping make the loan possible, and we trust all of our fans will give Denive a warm Swinton welcome!



IAN RIGG at Heywood Road, Sunday 5 May 2024

The Bulls warmed up for next week’s big game against Wakefield with a seven try performance against the Lions. It started badly for the visitors when they knocked on in the first set but after that they constantly put pressure on the Lions defence. There were early chances for the Lions, but the Bulls defence was on top, and it was the visitors who took the lead when Jordan Lilley sent out a lovely short pass to Zac Fulton and he scored under the posts with Lilley adding the conversion. Six minutes later they were in again when Jorge Taufua made a break and Kieran Gill was on had to finish off the move to score and again Lilley made no mistake with the conversion, and this was quickly followed when Mitch Souter found a way to score by the posts after breaking two tackles and again the conversion was good. The Lions were not giving up and hit back on twenty-six minutes when Dec Patton floated a pass to the left and Rhys Williams was on hand to score in the corner with Patton converting. More Bulls pressure on the line just after the half hour but again good defence from the Lions holding them out on three occasions, but with three minutes to go to the break Souter found a nice pass for Kevin Appo to blast past a couple of defenders to score under the posts and Lilley again converted.

It took Bulls fours minutes to get on the board again in the second half when this time Souter created a gap for Dan Okoro to score by the posts and Lilley converted. Jayden Hatton made a good break for the Lions on fifty-two minutes, and it took a great tackle from Lilley to stop his progress, and two minutes he thought he had scored but there was an obstruction in the build up and it was cancelled out. Gav Rodden and Tom Holmes were sent to the sinbin on fifty-four minutes for fighting and the Bulls got the penalty and from the pressure Taufua created a second try for Gill who scored in the corner, but Lilley was unable to convert from the touchline. Fenton Rogers was held up on sixty-three minutes and they forced a goal line drop out from the next tackle, but nothing came of it. Another chance this time for Aidan McGowan but he lost control of the ball with the line open. Williams added his second with eleven minutes to go after a floated kick by Jordy Gibson and Patton converted off the touchline. The Lions were starting to put some pressure on the Bulls in the last ten minutes and got a penalty around halfway but as Patton went to kick to touch he seemed to say something to the official and he was sent to the sinbin and the penalty reversed and from this the Bulls put the penalty long downfield and more pressure on the Lions line with a man down Jayden Myers took advantage of a long pass to race in at the corner but Lilley could not convert. With seconds to go before the hooter Williams made a breakout of his own twenty but a good tackle by McGowan stopped him as the hooter sounded.

1 Dan Abram
25 Richard Lepori
29 Jonny Vaughan
4 Jayden Hatton
5 Rhys Williams
6 Dec Patton
7 Jordy Gibson
13 Mikey Wood
14 Josh Eaves
34 Lucas Green
33 Matty Foster
21 Andy Badrock
16 Lewis Hall

Subs (all used)
20 Jack Houghton
24 Jordan Case
8 Liam Cooper
11 Gav Rodden

Tries: Williams (26,69)
Goals: Patton 2/2
Sin-bin: Rodden (57) fighting; Patton (71) dissent

24 Aiden McGowan
35 Jacob Douglas
21 Jayden Myers
4 Kieran Gill
5 Jorge Tufua
1 Tom Holmes
7 Jordan Lilley
34 Fenton Rogers
18 Mitch Souter
13 Michael Lawrence
28 Harvey Wilson
29 Zac Fulton
17 Eribe Doro

Subs (all used)
16 Kevan Appo
10 Ebon Scurr
23 Dan Okoro
31 Tyran Ott

Tries: Fulton (14), Gill (20,59), Souter (23), Appo (37), Okoro (44), Myers (72)
Goals: Lilley 5/7
Sin-bin: Holmes (57) fighting

Penalties: 7-7
Half-time: 6-24
Referee: Liam Rush
Attendance: 1187



IAN RIGG at The Shay, Sunday 28 April 2024

The Lions put in a stunning performance to condemn Fax to another defeat and move them further up the table. The first set was played out in the Lions half, but poor handling let them down. It was then visitors who took the lead in the fourth minute after they had forced a goal line drop out and from the pressure Jonny Vaughan found Mitch Cox on the right and he scored near the corner but the conversion from Dec Patton off the touchline struck the posts and bounced out. Fax Tried to hit back and had good pressure on the line with Ben Kavanagh and Adam Tangata going close but again handling let them down as good defence from the Lions. Greg Eden made a telling break down the left on eighteen minutes, but he too lost the ball. Jayden Hatton put the Lions further ahead on twenty minutes after a nice pass from Dan Abram and Patton converted in front of the Lions fans. Tee Ritson put Rhys Williams away two minutes later, but good defence held him out. More pressure from Fax before the Lions scored a bizarre try when Patton put a kick to the posts and Gibson followed it and it looked like it was going to sail dead but he jumped in the air as he was crossing the dead ball line and with his feet in the air knocked it backwards and Abram collected it as it came down to score under the posts and Patton converted. Eden had another chance just after the half hour but again could not control the ball and with seconds to go in the first half a nice, measured kick by Gibson went into the in goal and two Fax defenders seemed to leave it and Vaughan pounced on the rolling ball to score but Patton could not convert from the touchline.

A better start for Fax in the second half with Zack McComb being held up and from the third tackle the ball found Louis Jouffret who scored on the right and added the conversion to put them back in it. Ed Barber made a nice thirty metre break on fifty-five minutes taking a good tackle from Josh Eaves to stop his progress. Daniel Spencer-Tonks was then held up before the home side went back downfield but the Lions defence held strong and kept them out until Eden finished off a long ball pass in the corner and Jouffret converted. Kevin Larroyer was sent to the sinbin for an elbow on Eaves with eleven minutes left and Patton Added the penalty from thirty metres. The kick from the restart failed to go ten metres and the Lions made them pay when pressure on the line saw Eaves slip a nice pass to Gibson who crossed under the sticks with Patton converting. It was the Lions who had the ball for the last two minutes but couldn’t add any more points but sent their following home happy.

1 Dan Abram
32 Tee Ritson
29 Jonny Vaughan
4 Jayden Hatton
5 Rhys Williams
6 Dec Patton
7 Jordy Gibson
34 Lucas Green
14 Josh Eaves
13 Mikey Wood
37 Matty Foster
12 Mitch Cox
16 Lewis Hall

Subs (all used)
35 Ben Hartill
8 Liam Cooper
15 Daniel Spencer-Tonks
21 Andy Badrock

Tries: Cox (8), Hatton (20), Abram (27), Vaughan (39), Gibson (72)
Goals: Patton 4/6

6 Louis Jouffret
2 Greg Eden
17 Ben Tibbs
1 James Woodburn-Hall
5 James Saltonstall
23 Gareth Widdop
7 Joe Keyes
31 Kevin Larroyer
20 Tom Inman
8 Adam Tangata
11 Ben Kavanagh
12 Matty Gee
3 Zack McComb

Subs (all used)
13 Jacob Fairbank
15 Ryan Lannon
18 Brandon Douglas
26 Ed Barber

Tries: Jouffret (43), Eden (67)
Goals: Jouffret 2/2
Sin-bin: Larroyer (69) use of elbow

Penalties: 4-8
Half-time: 0-20
Referee: Mike Smaill
Attendance: 1,372


Super League duo sign on loan at the Lions!

We have agreed short term loan deals with Warrington Wolves and Salford Red Devils respectively for Lucas Green and Matty Foster. Both players are available for selection for this coming weekend’s trip to Halifax.

Lucas is a 19 year old middle who has been making tremendous progress in the sport. He captained the Warrington academy team in 2023, but also already has five Super League appearances to his credit. Lucas is tipped for a great future in Rugby League and comes to the Lions eager to impress.

Matty Foster meanwhile is of course already well-known to Swinton supporters. The second-rower played eight times for the Lions towards the back end of last season, and made a crucial contribution to us eventually securing 10th place in the Betfred Championship. Those appearances came courtesy of our DR partnership with St Helens, from where he subsequently signed for Salford during the close-season.

We’d like to thank everyone concerned at both Warrington and Salford for their help in facilitating these arrangements.



IAN RIGG at Heywood Road, Sunday 21 April 2024

A nine try performance from the Lions gave them their second win in what was a must win game. They got off to a great start when Dec Patton slid a nice kick towards the right corner and Mitch Cox won the race to score but Patton was unable to convert from the touchline. Rams hit back virtually straight away when good pressure on the line saw Curtis Davies dive in by the posts and Callum Turner converted. They should really have scored again but some great defence by Tee Ritson and Dan Abram grounded the player just short. They did score their second on seventeen minutes when a nice pass by Matt Garside found Owen Restall and he scored by the posts with Turner converting again. Jayden Hatton scored the Lions second on twenty-six minutes when Patton sent up a hanging kick and the centre took it as it came down to score but again no conversion from Patton. The Lions halfback was now starting to control the ball even more and the Lions then scored two tries in three minutes with Josh Eaves who was making his one hundredth career appearance scoring the first from short range and then a Saints combination on the right when Jonny Vaughan sent out a nice pass for to Ritson who powered over in the corner and Patton converted both of them to give the Lions an eight point gap and they could have scored again on the half time hooter when Hatton put Eaves through a gap but it was forward.

A disastrous start for the Lions in the second half when a nice kick from Turner bounced badly for Rhys Williams and ran away from him and this saw Brad Graham touch down by the posts and Turner converted to put his team right back in it. Daniel Spencer-Tonks then extended the Lions lead with a well taken try by the posts from an Eaves pass and Patton converted. Rams were not lying down and Turner and Restall combined to send Travis Corion in at the corner and Turner could not convert this one. The home side were coming stronger as the game went on and scored their next try just after the hour when Rams knocked on in their own twenty and from the scrum Williams went in at the corner and the conversion was good. Abram scored the next on sixty-six minutes after some great build up play down the right and again Patton converted. Rams then had more pressure on the line, and it took an interception by Cox to clear the line. Ronan Dixon was sent to the sinbin with three minutes left for a high shot on Hatton. The Lions made them pay heavily for the sinbin running in two more tries with firstly Spencer-Tonks again crashing in again by the posts from short range with Patton converting and with seconds left a great cross kick by Patton found Ritson and he collected the ball to race in at the corner with Patton adding the conversion after the hooter to secure a good victory for his side.

1 Dan Abram
32 Tee Ritson
29 Jonny Vaughan
4 Jayden Hatton
5 Rhys Williams
6 Dec Patton
7 Jordy Gibson
20 Jack Houghton
14 Josh Eaves
13 Mikey Wood
11 Gav Rodden
12 Mitch Cox
16 Lewis Hall

Subs (all used)
35 Ben Hartill
24 Jordan Case
8 Liam Cooper
15 Daniel Spencer-Tonks

Tries: Cox (3), Hatton (26), Eaves (31), Ritson (33,80), Spencer-Tonks (45,78), Williams (61), Abram (66)
Goals: Patton 7/9

1 Owen Restall
19 Travis Corion
22 Marcus Walker
3 Ollie Greensmith
5 Lewis Carr
7 Callum Turner
9 Jacob Hookem
8 Jimmy Beckett
20 Cutris Davies
10 Ronan Dixon
12 Matt Garside
11 Brad Graham
13 Louis Collinson

Subs (all used)
29 Jack Bibby
27 Joe Hird
6 Paul Sykes
23 Bailey Dawson

Tries: Davies (6), Restall (17), Graham (42), Corion (54)
Goals: Turner 3/4
Sin-bin: Ronan Dixon (77) High tackle
Swinton man-of-the-match: Daniel Spencer-Tonks

Penalty count: 4-8
Half-time: 20-12
Referee: Nick Bennett
Attendance: 894


Loans out – a summary

As part of our club policy to ensure the whole squad is getting adequate match time, we have recently agreed a number of short-term loan deals. Over a long season the services of our full squad will likely be called upon at some point, and keeping every player match ready is therefore a vital component of our preparation.

Matty Chrimes
From today winger Matty has joined League 1 outfit Hunslet on a two-week arrangement.

Cole Oakley
Middle Cole Oakley is currently halfway through a similar fortnight arrangement with North Wales Crusaders. Previous to this, he spent two weeks at Hunslet. He’s played against Keighley for both of his loan clubs.

Matty Fletcher
Matty has also been with Crusaders for a fortnight, playing against Newcastle and Keighley, but he’s now back with the Lions.

Daniel Spencer-Tonks
Dan has also been with Hunslet for a fortnight, but he too is now back at Swinton. He played in Hunslet’s loss to Oldham, and then starred in their win against Midland Hurricanes last weekend.

Joe Purcell
Joe played one game on loan at Workington Town in March but he’s now back with us.

Brad Hammond
Same as Joe Purcell, Brad played a game on loan at Workington Town last month but is now back at Swinton.

Richard Lepori
Lippy played three games for Workington Town in March, but of course for the last two weeks he’s been back in the Swinton line-up, including his second win for the Lions in Toulouse.

Eagles swoop in Lions’ den


IAN RIGG at Heywood Road, Sunday 14 April 2024

The Eagles continue to fly high with another great performance and a superb defensive effort kept the Lions at bay despite the home side having many chances. The Lions made an error straight from the kick off as they let the ball roll into touch and Cory Aston had the first chance but lost the ball in the Lions ten going for the corner. The Lions tried to hit back with some pressure on the line but a short kick and chase by Josh Eaves was thwarted by Matty Marsh. Eagles took the lead on seven minutes when a Thackeray kick caused confusion in the left corner, but winger Ryan Johnson was fasted to react to collect the ball and score in the corner, but Aston was off target with the conversion. Jordy Gibson then had a chance for the Lions but was held up on eleven minutes. Oliver Roberts then made a nice break, but some great defence held him in the Lions ten and as he tried to play the ball Dec Patton was sent to the sinbin for back chat to the touch judge. Gibson then put in a clean ball steal on Kyle Wood and from this Eaves made a forty metre break down field only to be stopped by good defence. A couple of good attacks from the Lions but again some good defence by the Eagles defence. Kris Welham thought he had scored in the corner on thirty-three minutes but there had been a knock-on in the build-up. They did however claim their second try five minutes from the break when Dan Abram made a rare mistake losing the ball in a tackle on half-way and Bailey Liu picked up the rolling ball to race away and score under the posts with Aston adding the simple conversion.

Eagles made an error at the kick off for the second half when Aston and Titus Gwaze collided trying to collect the ball and knocked on between them, from this scrum Jack Houghton was held up for the Lions and then Patton kicked on the last, but it was too strong for the chasing Jayden Hatton. Lewis Hall and Eaves then had further chances for the Lions but once again the defence was strong. Mitch Cox had a good chance on the hour after being set up by Ben Hartill but knocked on just short. Aston then stretched the Eagles lead five minutes later kicking a penalty from in front of the posts and then Hatton had a try cancelled out by the officials as he went for the corner for the Lions. Johnson added his second try ten minutes from time when a long-floated pass found him in space on the left and he cut inside to score by the posts with Aston converting. More Lions pressure on the line in the dying minutes which eventually saw Gibson go in after a nice pass from Hartill but Patton could not convert, but it was the former Lion in the Eagles side that had the last say when intercepted a pass on the Lions left side to race sixty metres to score in the corner as the final hooter sounded and the conversion attempt from Aston struck the posts and bounced out but it was job done and two more points in the bag.

1 Dan Abram
25 Richard Lepori
3 Jake Spedding
4 Jayden Hatton
5 Rhys Williams
6 Dec Patton
7 Jordy Gibson
34 Louis Brogan
14 Josh Eaves
13 Mikey Wood
11 Gav Rodden
12 Mitch Cox
16 Lewis Hall

Subs (all used)
35 Ben Hartill
24 Jordan Case
20 Jack Houghton
21 Andy Badrock

Try: Gibson (78)
Goals: Patton 0/1
Sinbin: Patton (15) dissent

1 Matty Marsh
3 Kris Welham
23 Bailey Liu
4 James Glover
21 Ryan Johnson
6 Cory Ashton
7 Anthony Thackeray
8 Eddie Battye
22 Kyle Wood
10 Tyler Dickinson
11 Connor Bower
26 Alex Foster
13 Titus Gwaze

Subs (all used)
14 Jack Hansen
24 Oliver Roberts
12 Joel Farrell
18 Aaron Murphy

Tries: Johnson (7,70), Liu (35), Hansen (80)
Goals: Aston 3/5

Penalty count: 7-12
Half-time: 0-10
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas
Attendance: 786



IAN RIGG at Stade Ernest Wellon, Saturday 6 April 2024

A superb team performance from the Lions watched by a large travelling fans contingent saw them claim their first Championship win of the season with the home side only coming into the game in the final ten minutes. This was a new ground for the Lions and although it was dry and warm there was a tricky wind swirling around and the posts at either end were swaying throughout the match.

Olympique made the best of the kick off getting the ball straight back and this saw prop Lambert Belmas go close at the end of the first set, but good defence held him out. The Lions took the lead in the fourth minute when Andy Badrock broke down the left and them laid the ball on to Dan Abram who was in support, he then drew the defence and passed to Rhys Williams to dive over in the left corner. Dec Patton had the difficult conversion attempt from the touchline and tried to keep the ball low, but the wind took the ball well off course. More pressure on the line from Olympique on ten minutes and this ended with them forcing a goal line drop out as Richard Lepori shuffled the ball dead. From the kick more pressure on the line and the home side levelled the scores when former London Bronco Paul Ulberg scored in the left corner, but Jake Shorrocks was also unable to convert off the touchline. Dec Patton was a constant thorn in the Olympique defence with his tactical kicking. The Lions then forced a goal line drop out and got themselves in a good position a couple of times because of ill discipline from the Olympique defence giving away two penalties back-to-back and Josh Eaves made them pay on eighteen minutes when he went over from short range and Patton converted to put the Lions back in the driving seat. Paul Marcon and Belmas both then had chances, but great defence held them out and then they lost Craig Richards who was helped off with a leg injury. Marcon had another chance before the Lions lost Liam Cooper to HIA after a high shot from Belmas with the prop being sent to the sin bin. It was too windy to go for goal from the position of the penalty, but Jack Houghton went close on the first tackle from the play the ball after he was held up. They did make it pay though from the next play when a short pass found Jordy Gibson who dived over on the right in front of the Lions fans and Patton judged the wind to increase the Lions lead just before the break.

A good start for the Lions in the second half playing against the wind and seven minutes in Jake Spedding found Lepori and he swallow dived into the right corner, but Patton could not convert this from the touchline. Ryan Rivett thought he was in for a try for Olympique on fifty-seven minutes but knocked on as he chased a kick trying to dive over. Patton almost set up a try for Abram on sixty-five minutes, but good defence stopped him. Against the run of play Reuben Rennie crossed for the second try for Olympique with ten minutes left but Shorrocks was unable to convert off the touchline and then three minute later it was Shorrocks who found a rare gap in the Lions defence to score by the posts and add the conversion to set up a grandstand finish. Houghton put the Lions close to the line with three minutes left but knocked on at the play the ball and in the final minute Lepori made a break down the right only to be the victim of an illegal tackle from Eloi Pelissier near the touchline and this ended with a skirmish with Olympique hooker and Lepori being sent to the sinbin for the final seconds just before the final hooter sounded.

Abram, Lepori, Spedding, Badrock, Williams, Patton, Gibson. Wood, Eaves, Brogan, Rodden, Cox, Hall. SUBS: Cooper, Case, Hatton, Houghton

Tries: Williams (4), Eaves (18), Gibson (36), Lepori (47).
Goals: Patton 2/4

Penalties: 11-8
Referee: Ryan Cox
Attendance: 3,542

Young Wolf joins Lions on Loan!

Warrington’s “most valuable” Academy star Ben Hartill comes to Swinton

We can confirm the arrival of the young Warrington Wolves hooker Ben Hartill, who joins us on an initial 3 week loan period. Ben started out with Crosfields ARLFC, and then progressed through the Wolves’ development system, with whom he was named their Academy’s “most valuable player” in 2023. Ben is the son of former Swinton winger Dave Hartill, and we wish him all the best in his time with the Lions!

14th April is Green Day!

Marathon date but Lions as usual!

Our home game versus Sheffield Eagles on Sunday 14 April clashes with the Manchester Marathon , but the match will go ahead as scheduled at 3pm.

With nearby main thoroughfares Marsland Road and Brooklands Road not accessible, this clearly impacts on access routes to the stadium.

Street parking in the vicinity of the ground will still be available subject to availability by taking the following route :- starting from M60 Junction 6 near Sale Water Park; go south on Old Hall Road; turn left at Wythenshawe Road; turn left at Northenden Road; turn right at Norris Road (continue for 1.4 miles); turn right at Alcester Road. This brings you out opposite Whitehall Road gate.

Pedestrian access to the ground will be available at both the Heywood Road and Whitehall Road gates. There will be no parking whatsoever via Heywood Road , and extremely limited disabled parking via the Whitehall Road entrance (via confirmation from the club only).

A limited hospitality offer will be available – for more information please contact the club directly via [email protected] , but note that this does not include onsite parking.

Given the difficult circumstances we hope that supporters will bear with us and support the Lions on the day .

In the meantime we are taking this opportunity to promote environmentally friendly matchday travel , and Sunday 14th will be a Green Day!

* Travel by Metro Tram (Brooklands station is 5 minutes walk from the ground). From Swinton, take the bus to St Peter’s Square Metro stop and get the tram from there towards Altrincham.
* Car share with fellow fans.
* If it’s walkable – walk it!
* Consider other forms of shared transport.

The Lions will wear our green alternative colours on the day , and replica green away shirts will be on sale (on the ground only) at specially discounted prices.