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02 October 2023

Swinton Lionesses 32 Widnes Vikings 24

Alan Dixon at Westhoughton ARLFC

The Lionesses ended the season with back-to-back wins. Widnes could not contain the Lionesses’ attack, especially Mia Atherton and the darting runs from Fatin Najwa Fadzli.

Widnes were first on the attack due to errors by the Lionesses. In the 8th minute, Harriet King raced down the king but, a superb tackle by Rebecca Roden and Maddie Higson forced her into touch just short of the line. Three minutes later, Widnes looked certain to score as Jazzmine Mason went through a huge gap. A brilliant cover tackle by Leah Christian stopped her from scoring. The Lionesses eventually got out of their own half after 14 minutes. A late hit on Fatin Najwa Fadzli earned them a penalty. From the penalty, the ball was moved to Maddie Higson who weaved her way through the Widnes defence to score under the posts. Holly Grimes kicked the goal to put the Lionesses 6-0 up. Widnes went back on the attack and a high kick to the corner resulted in a double knock-on and Widnes getting the scrum. Widnes wasted the possession with a forward pass from the scrum.

Widnes continued to pressurise the Swinton line. A sweeping move after 21 minutes ended with Mia Atherton making a superb tackle on Millie Clarke which made her drop the ball. The Lionesses got a penalty after 24 minutes for a high tackle on Fatin Najwa Fadzli. Lydia Elstone drove the ball up to the Widnes defence before Fatin Najwa Fadzli put Mia Atherton through a gap to run 40 metres to score. Maddie Higson missed the conversion. The Lionesses now led 10-0. Widnes attacked the Lionesses line and thought they had scored when Hannah Quirk crossed the line, but a Maddie Higson tackle prevented her from grounding the ball. Widnes eventually scored after 37 minutes. A knock on by the Lionesses on the last tackle handed the ball over to Widnes. They moved the ball out to Carraghan Hannon who scored out wide. Megan Jackson added the extras to cut the Lionesses lead to 10-6. The Lionesses recovered possession of the ball when Maddie Higson found touch with the kick off. The ball was moved across field for Mia Atherton to score. Holly Grimes added the extras to give the Lionesses a 16-6 lead at half time.

Widnes went back on the attack at the start of the second half. Hannah Quirk broke down the wing in the 43rd minute, but was stopped short of the line by a Maddie Higson tackle. The ball was moved across the field but another tackle by Mia Atherton forced Carraghan Hannon to drop the ball. From the scrum, Maddie Higson broke up the wing but, she was tackled into touch. Widnes were pressurising the Swinton line. They eventually scored when Catherine Bazley forced her way over by the posts from close range in the 46th minute. Anaia Nulty missed the conversion. The Lionesses hit back straight away. Widnes knocked on at the kick off. From the resulting scrum, the Lionesses moved the ball out to Maddie Higson who raced 30 metres down the wing to score. Holly Grimes added the conversion to give the Lionesses a 22-10 lead. The Lionesses scored again straight from the restart. The ball was moved out to Mia Atherton who ran 50 metres down the middle of the pitch to score under the posts. Holly Grimes missed the conversion. The Lionesses conceded two penalties for a shoulder charge and offside which allowed Widnes to get close to the Swinton line.  Tackles by Fatin Najwa Fadzli and Holly Grimes prevented Widnes from scoring. The ball was eventually moved out to Millie Clarke to score under the posts. Megan Jackson converted to reduce the Lionesses lead to 26-16.

Widnes scored again 3 minutes later. The Lionesses were penalised for offside. The ball was moved out wide for Jazzmine Mason to score in the corner. Anaia Nulty could not add the extras and the Lionesses now led 26-20. Widnes went straight back downfield from the restart but excellent defence from the Lionesses kept them out. Four minutes later , Hannah Quirk broke away down the wing but, a great cover tackle by Mia Atherton prevented her from scoring. Rebecca Roden was then sin binned on the Lionesses next drive in the 70th minute. Four minutes later, Elisha Foster broke away down the other wing. This time she was tackled short by Maddie Higson & Fatin Najwa Fadzli. Catherine Bazley tried to go over from dummy half but she lost the ball in the tackle. The Lionesses were penalised for offside in the 76th minute. Widnes got down to the Lionesses line but it came to nothing when Rachael Potter threw out a forward pass. From the resulting scrum, Ellie Walsh breaks through the Widnes defence to go 85 metres before being tackled short of the line. Ellie Thirkell dived over the line from acting half back to score. Holly Grimes converted to make it 32-20.The Lionesses knocked on at the kick off. From the scrum, Widnes moved the ball out to Hannah Quirk who scored in the corner. Anaia Nulty missed the conversion.

Swinton Lionesses

Maddie Higson, Rebecca Roden, Ellie Walsh, Libby Curran, Catherine Sweeney, Mollee-Anne Pickering, Ellie Thirkell, Leah Christian, Fatin Najwa Fadzli, Lydia Elstone, Mia Atherton, Laura Bent, Holly Grimes. SUB : Eve Ashcroft

Tries: Higson (14,49), Atherton (24,39,52), Thirkell (78)

Goals: Grimes 4


Widnes Vikings

Megan Jackson, Elisha Foster, Harriet King, Carraghan Hannon, Hannah Quirk, Rachael Potter, Chloe Hunt, Jazzmine Mason, Anaia Nulty, Ellie Reid, Talitha Hannon, Emma Beaton, Jennifer Moss. SUBS : Catherine Bazley, Millie Clarke, Hannah Cleaver, Michaele Keenan, Jennifer Myler

Tries: C. Hannon (37), Bazley (46), Clarke (57), Mason (60), Quirk (79)

Goals: Nulty 1, Jackson 1


Penalties: 7-10

Half-Time: 16-6


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