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20 April 2019

Swinton Lions claimed the win over Rochdale Hornets in the Good Friday derby at Heywood Road.

Mike Butt stole the show as his four tries helped the Lions to a 36-22 victory over oldest rivals Rochdale Hornets.

Four tries by Lions winger Mike Butt helped his side to an impressive win over local neighbours Rochdale Hornets in the warm conditions to move them up the league ladder.

The home side made a great start with Luke Waterworth being held up over the line on their first attack and then they forced a goal line drop out and this time Hornets defence was breached when firstly Oscar Thomas went close but from the play the ball the play moved quickly left and Butt took the pass go score in the left corner and Thomas added the conversion from the touchline.

Hornets could have hit back virtually straight away when Matty Ashton spilled the ball near the line but Jack Johnson could not get over near the corner when he was tackled just short.

Michael Weldon was held up for Hornets on twelve minutes and then they too forced a goal line drop out and from the pressure on the line Dan Abram found the gap to score on the right but he struck the posts with the conversion and missed.

Butt added his second on eighteen minutes when a great passing movement which covered nearly every pair of hands in the Lions team saw the winger fly in at the corner but Thomas could not convert this one and two minutes later they were in again when Butt turned provider with a kick inside and Thomas won the race to touch down and he added the conversion to his own try to give his side a twelve points lead.

Liam Carberry then made good break down the middle for Hornets but his pass to the supporting Abram went to ground and the Lions were on the attack again and Butt completed his hat-trick after a good break and pass from Jack Hansen and Thomas again made no mistake with the conversion.

Hansen and Butt had further chances to score for the Lions but the Hornets defence managed to hold out but they did lose Scott Moore to the sin bin six minutes from the break for a late shot on Rob Fairclough and three minutes from the break the Lions did manage to score again when another good passing move saw Liam Forsyth go over on the left but Thomas could not convert but his side did go in with a twenty-two points advantage at the hooter.

Another good start for the Lions in the second half saw Butt get on the end of another good passing movement to score his fourth but again Thomas could not add the conversion. Hornets then had a good spell with the ball as the Lions started dropping off tackles and they forced a goal line drop out which ended with Declan Kay finishing off a good passing movement with a try and Abram added the conversion and two minutes later the same player scored again after a good break down the left by Jack Johnson and again Abram converted to bring his side within fourteen points of the Lions.

Hansen and Forsyth then had chances again for the Lions but it was Hornets who scored the next try when Carl Forster crashed over from short range and Abram converted to make it an eight point gap with eight minutes left, but the Lions made the result safe with eight minutes left when Waterworth fed Gavin Bennion and he crossed by the posts to score and Thomas made no mistake with the conversion.

Stuart Howarth had to leave the field with an injury three minutes from time having been hit late in the tackle and the incident went on report but the Lions held on for a good win.

Ian Rigg reporting from Heywood Road.


Lions: Hansen, Butt, Forsyth, Lloyd, Ashton, Thomas, Fairclough, Bennion, Waterworth, Hatton, Halton, Wells, P.Jones.

Subs: Brickhill, Shelford, A.Jones, Aaronson.

Tries: Butt (4′,18′,25,’,46′), Thomas (20′), Forsyth (37′), Bennion (72′)

Goals: Thomas 4/7

Hornets: Kay, Ainscough, Tala, Wood, Johnson, Howarth, Abram, Mitchell, Moore, Cottington, Gillam, Weldon, Carberry

Subs: Forster, Johnson, Ryan, Millington

Tries: Abram (14′), Kay (53′,55′), Forster (70′)

Goals: Abram 3/4

Sin-Bin: Scott Moore

HT: 26-4 FT: 36-22

Referee: Matt Rossleigh

Attendance: 826

Photo credits: Sarah Trace


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