Lions Defeat Bradford on Long-awaited Return!
07 March 2021
The Lions put in a stunning performance to claim victory against the Bulls in a cold and sunny afternoon in Dewsbury.
Bradford Bulls 22-26 Swinton Lions
It was a great opportunity for Stuart Littler and John Kear to look at both their squads in a full blown match and there was some really good talent on show. Bradford went with a squad of twenty-seven which included three trialists and the Lions had twenty-four players in their squad.
The Bulls took the lead in the fourth minute when the Lions were on the attack but a kick towards the line for the chasers was collected by Matty Dawson Jones who broke downfield before passing the ball on to the supporting Brandon Pickersgill who scored under the posts and Danny Brough added the simple conversion.
The Lions then tried to hit back quickly when Martyn Ridyard kicked a forty-twenty but the ball was lost in the second tackle and the chance went. Bulls started to press the line again but there was some excellent defence on show when firstly George Flanagan was held up over the line by Nick Gregson and a few minutes later Ross Oakes looked like he might score but Richard Lepori and Liam Forsyth managed to hold him up too and the chance went.
The Lions started to fight back and forced a goal line drop out and from the kick Mitch Cox went close on the left only to be knocked into touch by Pickersgill. Bulls scrum half Jordan Lilley was dispatched to the sin bin by referee Jack Smith in the twenty-second minute for an off the ball challenge on Jack Hansen. From the resulting penalty the Lions had more pressure on the Bulls line and it looked like Luke Waterworth might score but he lost control of the ball reaching for the try line. Bulls then added a second try a few minutes later when Oakes broke a couple of tackles to score on the left and Brough again converted.
The Lions were still chipping at the Bulls defence and just before the break Rhodri Lloyd broke through on the right to feed the supporting Jack Hansen and he raced in to score and Ridyard added the conversion but in the build up to the try Jose Kenga got a leg injury and had to leave the field having come on as a substitute ninety seconds earlier.
The Bulls started the second half the same way as they started the first capitalising on a Lions handling error and Dawson Jones scored in the left corner and Billy Jowitt added the conversion from the touchline. Again the Lions were on the attack and Mike Butt scored in the left corner after some good build up play by Ridyard and Geronimo Doyle down the left but the conversion from Ridyard hit the posts and bounced away but they were just eight points behind ten minutes into the second half.
Five minutes later and the Lions were in for another try when this time Hansen broke the Bulls defence to feed Doyle who raced away to score on the left and this time the conversion was good from Ridyard. Another three minutes passed and another try from the Lions when the impressive Deane Meadows dummied and twisted his way to the line to score and again a good conversion from Ridyard found the Lions four points ahead at the midway point of the second half. The Bulls were not finished and on sixty three minutes Flanagan darted over from short range but somehow Jowitt managed to miss from in front of the posts and the scores were locked at twenty-two all. Bulls trialist Brad Calland tried to win the game for his side with eight minutes left when he attempted a drop goal but it sailed wide.
Rhodri Lloyd scored the winning try with six minutes left when he went over in the left corner and with Ridyard having a deserved rest on the bench the touchline conversion attempt from Hansen struck the left post and bounced out but the Bulls could not get past the Lions defence in the final minutes and victory was claimed.
Ian Rigg at The Tetley’s Stadium
BULLS – Pickersgill, Brown, Hamlett, Oakes, Dawson Jones, Brough, Lilley, Walker, Flanagan, Crossley, Gallagher, England, Fleming. SUBS: Scurr, Doyle, Nzoungo, Foggin-Johnston, Wallis, Jowitt, Ho, Berry, M Smith, O’Hanlon, S Smith, Calland, Burton, Rooks.
Tries: Pickersgill, Oakes, Dawson Jones, Flanagan
Goals: Brough 2, Jowitt 1
LIONS– Butt, Lepori, Cox, Forsyth, Doyle, Ridyard, Hansen, Brooks, Waterworth, Hatton, Lloyd, Gregson, Brogan. SUBS: Brickhill, Green, Jones, Meadows, Grant, T Brown, Roberts, Heyes, Nash, Kenga, J Brown.
Tries: Hansen, Butt, Doyle, Meadows, Lloyd
Goals: Ridyard 3
Referee: Jack Smith