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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.




IAN RIGG at the DCBL Stadium, Friday 29 March 2024

The Vikings made it two wins from two in a hard-fought game which was end to end throughout with some impressive attack and defence on show. It was the Lions who took the lead in the second minute when Dec Patton and Dan Abram combined to send centre Andy Badrock over on the left and Patton added the conversion. Widnes almost hit back a few minutes later following a goal line drop out and Mikey Wood did well to stop Matty Fozard from scoring under the posts. Louis Brogan then went close for the Lions but knocked on near the line and from the next play the scores were level when Tom Gilmore kicked downfield, and the ball bounced nicely into the hands of Mike Butt who put out a nice pass for Rhodri Lloyd to go over on the right against his former club with Gilmore adding the conversion. Then followed some good pressure from the Lions with Abram, Matty Chrimes and Rhys Williams all testing the defence, but some good scramble kept them out. The Vikings forced another goal line drop out on twenty-three minutes and there was more pressure on the Lions defence and on the final tackle Ryan Ince crashed over in the left corner after latching on to a floated pass from Gilmore, but he was unable to add the conversion from the touchline. The almost scored again from the restart when Butt broke through, and he handed on to Jack Owens and he looked an all on scorer but a great tackle form Chrimes put him down just short. George Roby then sent Brogan through a gap with the line open, but the pass was forward. Patton had an opportunity to bring the Lions within two points just seconds from the half time hooter when Brogan was high tackled, but his penalty drifted wide.

Another strong start from the Lions in the second half after Vikings hooker Jordan Johnston knocked on just inside the Lions half and from the scrum Jayden Hatton was held up and then they got a six again near the line and from this Williams crossed in the left corner to level the scores, but Patton was unable to add the conversion. Ant Walker then put his side back in the lead on forty-nine minutes after a short pass from Gilmore and he also added the conversion. Gilmore then added a penalty from almost in front of the posts for a high tackle. Danny Langtree was held up on sixty-six minutes but in the next set Ince scored his second in the corner again after another floated pass but again no conversion. With the Lions two scores behind and the game still in the balance Gilmore tried a drop goal but it sailed wide. The Lions were starting to pressure the line in the closing minutes, and this saw Vikings centre sent to the sinbin with six minutes left for pulling a Lions defender back. From this penalty the Lions pressure ended with a high kick from Patton being defused by Ince near his own line. Fozard scored the Vikings final try in the dying seconds when he went passed several tacklers to score on the left after some good build-up by Johnstone and Gilmore converted as the hooter sounded.

1 Dan Abram
2 Matty Chrimes
4 Jayden Hatton
21 Andy Badrock
5 Rhys Williams
6 Dec Patton
7 Jordy Gibson
24 Jordan Case
14 Josh Eaves
13 Mikey Wood
11 Gav Rodden
12 Mitch Cox
34 Louis Brogan

Subs (all used)
9 George Roby
33 Jacob Gannon
31 Sam Royle
37 Noah Stephens

Tries: Badrock (2), Williams (45)
Goals: Patton 1/3

1 Jack Owens
20 Mike Butt
3 Matt Fleming
4 Joe Edge
2 Ryan Ince
6 Joe Lyons
7 Tom Gilmore
15 Liam Kirk
9 Matty Fozard
31 Dan Murray
11 Rhodri Lloyd
19 Sam Wilde
13 Nick Gregson

Subs (all used)
12 Danny Langtree
14 Jordan Johnstone
16 Max Roberts
22 Ant Walker

Tries: Lloyd (11), Ince (25,68), Walker (49), Fozard (80)
Goals: Gilmore 4/6
Sinbin: Fleming (74) pulling back attacker

Penalties: 9-9
Half-time: 10-6
Referee: Michael Smaill
Attendance: 2751


Pair of Leopards become Lions on loan!


We are delighted to announce the loan signings of Leigh Leopards’ forward pair, Louis Brogan and Jacob Gannon, with immediate effect.

Louis of course began his professional career at Swinton in 2020, and scored 12 tries in 74 appearances up until the end of the 2023 season ahead of his move to the LSV.

Jacob Gannon is a 22 year old middle who emerged through the system at Warrington Wolves. He’s seen first team action with Bradford Bulls, London Broncos and Halifax over the past couple of seasons, and is the son of former Balmain, Halifax, Huddersfield, Hull KR and Widnes prop Jim Gannon.

Swinton Lions Head Coach, Alan Kilshaw, said, “With the recent injuries to Gav Bennion and Lewis Hall it was important we looked for players with a similar playing style. Both Louis and Jacob fit that mould well, and coming from a full-time environment they are match ready and keen to contribute to the Lions and play their best football for us.”

Swinton CEO Steve Wild added, “On behalf of the Lions I’d like to thank all concerned at the Leopards for their willingness to make this arrangement happen and in such an efficient fashion. We already know Louis a little better than Jacob, but we’re confident that both lads will make a valuable contribution to the Lions, and at the same time get some high standard match time which ultimately can only assist their parent club.”



Lions’ LEAPP towards the future!

Earlier this week at Swinton Lions, we were proud to launch a new dedicated player pathway programme. It is titled LEAPP (The Lions’ Elite Athlete with Potential Programme) – an innovative project which offers highly promising young players, between the ages of 16 and 21, a training and development opportunity to upskill and potentially become the Lions of the future. The first six players attended the Lions’ gym on Tuesday and were given briefings about the scheme and the club in general by Head Coach Alan Kilshaw, Director of Development Damian Ridpath, Head of Youth Development Dougie Owen, and CEO Steve Wild.

Key to the programme is that the players involved will co-ordinate elite training time with the Lions’ coaching staff, alongside playing for their respective community clubs.

The initial players identified for the programme are:-

Daniel Coop 17 (Rochdale Mayfield); Luke Fisher 17 (Sherwood Wolf Hunt); Harry Hesketh 19 (Westhoughton Lions); Daniel Ridpath 17 (Latchford Giants); Ethan Sykes 16 (Waterhead); James Tarpey 18 (Woolston Rovers).

These players have been identified whilst attending the Lions Talent Pathway Programme, or as in Luke’s case whilst playing alongside the two Daniels for Ireland in last season’s Under 16 Home International series. In that competition the Ireland team recorded their highest ever finish.

The LEAPP project will be led by Dougie Owen, our Head of Youth Development, and will be supported by Lions Foundation coaches Gareth Pratt and Luke Waterworth. Senior Head Coach Alan Kilshaw and his performance staff will also offer their support.

Head of Youth Development, Dougie Owen, said, “This is an exciting opportunity for us to give young players an environment to develop themselves as players and as individuals. We see this programme growing to support not only the individual players, but the local community clubs and Swinton Lions’ long term future.”

Alan Kilshaw continued, “As Head Coach at the club, I am very proud to be part of this Swinton Lions initiative. The platform we’ll provide for these players to develop and enhance their rugby league knowledge and skills, alongside educational development in areas such as conditioning, analysis and nutrition, will not only benefit them as players but also as individual people.”

The Lions’ CEO Seve Wild added, “It’s fantastic that once again Swinton Lions is at the forefront of innovative thinking. LEAPP represents a very real player pathway for identified emerging talent, and hopefully the opportunities it offers will be exploited by potential Lions of the future. It was great to meet the first intake the other night, and be able to assure the players and their parents that the scheme has the full backing of the entire club.”

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