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07 May 2023


A fantastic day all round yesterday culminated in a pulsating victory for the Lions over full-time opponents in the shape of Toulouse Olympique.

On a day of national historic significance, which began of course with the Coronation of King Charles III, the Lions went on to write their own piece of history with a magnificent win over the French team, whom they lead 19-0 half-way through the second-half. Swinton eventually secured the spoils by 19-12, thanks to tries by Jake Spedding and Louis Brogan, augmented by the boot of Ben Davies who landed five kicks from five attempts, as well as a drop-goal by Jordan Gibson.

The day at Heywood Road had begun brightly and early, with around 150 to 200 people on the ground to witness young players from Salford Roosters, Langworthy Reds and Woolston Rovers contest a round-robin tournament. This was followed by the youngsters acting as proud mascots as the Lions and Toulouse filed out on to the pitch ahead of the British and French National Anthems.

Although a historic victory was then achieved by the Lions in front of healthy crowd not far short of a 1,000 – particularly given the sparsity of away support – the win did come at a cost.

On-loan hooker George Roby took a knock that is likely to side-line him for a few weeks, and full-back Joe Lowe hobbled off at half-time nursing an ankle injury. Nick Gregson is also likely to miss next week’s trip to Bradford, whilst on loan forward Luke Thomas was concussed and is therefore also compelled to sit out the journey to Yorkshire.

Already by half-time yesterday we were reduced to just two available interchanges, a number further reduced to zero with fifteen minutes of the game remaining. That our Lions managed to grind out such a momentous victory in these circumstances only adds further proof regarding the spirit in our club.

In further injury news we can update our fans further as follows:-

Mike Butt almost made it to the start line yesterday, and should return at Bradford.

On loan half-back Jamie Ellis also wasn’t risked yesterday owing to a muscle strain, and we await a further update from our medical staff.

Richard Lepori is unlikely to see action until possibly the last two months of the season.

Jayden Hatton has missed the last couple of games, but should be available next week.

Jonny Openshaw needs surgery and is unlikely to play again this season.

Liam Cooper sustained a serious injury at Sheffield and the prognosis is long-term.

Myles Harrop is improving following surgery, but again he is a long-term absentee.

Gavin Bennion is back in full training and is targeting the Summer Bash for his comeback.

Mitch Cox is currently absent through injury and we are awaiting scan results.

We have no doubt that had we had any luck whatsoever with injuries we would already have won more games, but in the meantime the club would like to thank those fans who have understood our circumstances, both in terms of on-field injuries and off-field funding disadvantages, and have continued in all circumstances to back the team.


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