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19 September 2023


IAN RIGG at Heywood Road, Sunday 17 September 2023


A drop goal by Jordy Gibson threw the Lions a huge lifeline in their battle for Championship survival and all still depends on next weekend’s results with several sides teetering on brink. The Lions had an early penalty in the fifth minute for a high tackle on Dan Abram, but he was unable to convert the points. It was all Swinton in the opening stages starving Haven of the ball on many occasions and they actually scored off their first attack after a good passing movement saw Chris Taylor finish off on the right, but Josh Rourke was unable to add the conversion. The Lions hit back quickly when a good attack near the line saw Gibson find a big gap to score and Abram converted. Dan Spencer-Tonks was then grounded short but just after the half-hour a flowing move down the left Curtis Teare go in at the left corner and Rourke added a great conversion from the touchline. The Lions then made mistake at the restart, and this proved to be a bad outcome as Haven again put pressure on the line and Dion Aiye managed to crash over under the posts on the last tackle with Rourke again converting. Haven then made an error from the restart when the ball went past to defenders to roll dead and from the goal line drop out and with about thirty-seconds left in the half Kenny Baker forced his way over to the right of the posts and as the hooter sounded the ball sailed between the posts.

The Lions started the second half on the front foot and Haven fullback Rourke knocked on near his line and from the pressure on the line from the scrum George Roby sent out a nice short pass for Gibson to score his second and Abram converted as the Lions went back ahead. Spencer-Tonks was placed on report for a dangerous tackle on forty-seven minutes. In the very next set Abram added a thirty-metre drop goal to stretch the lead. Haven hit back again when a long kick was sent to the right and Dave Eccleston got to the ball to score in the corner, but Rourke was unable to convert. Another good chance for Haven went begging as Teare and Karl Dixon combined down the left, but the final pass was forward. Swinton were sometimes guilty of trying too hard as time and time again there was an error or lost ball on the last tackle. Rhodri Lloyd was held up on sixty-five minutes and then Haven had a couple of good chances forcing a goal line drop out and then Lachlan Lanskey went close only to lose the ball near the line. There was another Haven knock on in a good position before Roby was held up with seven minutes left. The match winner came with five minutes left when Gibson landed a thirty-metre drop goal on the last tackle but Haven were not lying down and tried their best to get on the front foot but time just ran out.


1 Dan Abram

26 Joey Romeo

11 Rhodri Lloyd

33 Wes Bruines

5 Richard Lepori

34 Robbie Butterworth

7 Jordy Gibson

8 Gav Bennion

30 George Roby

13 Louis Brogan

12 Mitch Cox

32 Matty Foster

35 Lewis Hall


25 Scott Parnaby (NU)

10 Kenny Baker

15 Jordan Case

16 Gav Rodden


Tries: Gibson (26,43), Baker (39)

Goals: Abram 4/5

Drop-Goal: Gibson-1



23 Josh Rourke

2 Dave Eccleston

3 Chris Taylor

6 Karl Dixon

4 Curtis Teare

27 Jake Carter

14 Jamie Doran

22 Lucas Castle

15 James Newton

28 Ross Ainley

11 Connor Holiday

12 Lachlan Lanskey

20 George Hill


Subs (all used)

13 Dion Aiye

9 Callum Phillips

18 Perry Singleton

24 Daniel Spencer-Tonks


Tries: Taylor (20), Teare (32) Aiye (37), Eccleston (55)

Goals: 2/4


On Report: Spencer-Tonks (47) Dangerous Tackle


Penalty count:   5-6

Half-time: 12-16

Referee:  Aaron Moore

Attendance: 1315


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