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25 June 2024


IAN RIGG at Heywood Road, Sunday 23 June 2023

A great first half performance put the Raiders in the box seat to take the points back home under very warm conditions in Sale. Matt Costello almost put his side ahead in the second minute, but it took a kick dead from Tee Ritson to avert the danger. Ryan Johnston put Raiders ahead on six minutes with a penalty goal following an off the ball tackle and they went further ahead a minute later when the ball went through several pairs of hands for Costello to score on the left and Johnston added the conversion. It was all Raiders in the early stages and the Lions defence was stretched time and time again with both Rhys Williams and Matty Chrimes making important knock downs in the Raiders passing. Jake Spedding then had to clear his lines when again the Raiders attacked his corner, but the first real Lions chance came on thirty-two minutes when George Roby was held up by the posts. Raiders went further ahead three minutes later when some fantastic touch passing saw James Greenwood score out to the left and Johnston converted again. Another try quickly followed when again some good ball handling skills saw Harvey Makin crash over under the posts with again Johnston converting. The restart from the Lions sailed dead in goal and Johnston elected to go for goal as the half time hooter sounded but the penalty attempt fell wide of the posts.

The Lions had a great start to the second half when Will Roberts and Dan Abram combined just inside the Raiders half and the ball ended with Gav Rodden who put a high kick to the corner, and it bounced just right for Jayden Hatton to score in the corner, but Abram could not convert. Roby then went close again being held just short and then it looked like they had forced a goal line drop out, but they were penalised for offside in the build-up. Rodden then produced a stunning sixty metre break but lost control of the ball ten metres from the line. Raiders defence looked like it was getting tired, but it was they who scored the next points when Johnston landed another penalty goal for an off the ball nudge. The Lions then lost Josh Eaves to an HIA check and his replacement Roby again went for the line from the play the ball but was held short. Johnston again put his side further ahead on sixty-six minutes when he too was nudged off the ball and he was awarded the penalty in the Lions twenty metre to which he converted. Hatton was then sent to the sinbin two minutes later for lifting in the tackle, but the Raiders could not make them pay this time. The Lions finished strongly and produced the final try of the game when Roberts ducked under a tackle to lay the ball on to the supporting Mitch Cox and he crashed in by the posts and Abram added the conversion as the final hooter sounded.

2 Matty Chrimes
32 Tee Ritson
3 Jake Spedding
4 Jayden Hatton
5 Rhys Williams
30 Will Roberts
14 Josh Eaves
24 Jordan Case
1 Dan Abram
13 Mikey Wood
11 Gav Rodden
12 Mitch Cox
33 Leon Cowen

Subs (all used)
9 George Roby
37 Brett Bailey
20 Jack Houghton
28 Brad Hammond

Tries: Hatton (42), Cox (80)
Goals: Abram 1/2
Sin-bin: Hatton (68) Lifting

1 Luke Cresswell
5 Andrew Bulman
3 Matty Costello
14 Luke Broadbent
30 Jacob Douglas
6 Brad Walker
7 Ryan Johnston
10 Ellis Gilliam
9 Josh Wood
20 Ramon Silva
13 James Greenwood
12 Jarrod Stack
31 Greg Worthington

Subs (all used)
19 Amir Bourouh
22 Tom Walker
15 Tom Wilkinson
23 Harvey Makin

Tries: Costello (7), Greenwood (35), Makin (38)
Goals: Johnston 6/7

Penalty count: 6-9
Half-time: 0-20
Referee: Kevin Moore
Attendance: 945


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