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08 July 2019

The Lions claimed a 20-18 victory over Batley Bulldogs at Heywood Road.

Swinton Lions defeated Batley Bulldogs 20-18 at Heywood Road to move up the Betfred Championship table.

The Lions made it two wins from two to leapfrog the Bulldogs on the league ladder . The game started with Dale Manning, playing his one hundredth game for the Bulldogs, being sent to the sin bin on four minutes for a dangerous tackle on Paddy Jones but as hard as the Lions tried they could not get over the try line to put points on the board. In fact Matty Ashton went close but was knocked into touch in the corner.

Wigan’s Jake Shorrocks made a nice break on nine minutes down centre field and the ball moved out left but again the Bulldogs defence was good and Mike Butt was also tackled into touch. The Lions finally took the lead on twenty-two minutes when Rhodri Lloyd touched down on the left when he followed a Rob Fairclough kick over the line and Jack Hansen converted and then three minutes later Hansen added a penalty goal when Dave Scott collided with Fairclough and the decision went the Lions way.

The Bulldogs were throwing everything at the Lions and Niall Walker went close on the right before some good passing saw Paul Brearley stretch out to score and Lewis Jouffret added the conversion.

With a couple of minutes to go before the break Scott Moore threw out a long pass to the left and a mix up between Lloyd and Butt let the ball run free and put the Bulldogs back on the attack and the made the most of the pressure when Paul Gledhill crashed over by the posts and Jouffret added the conversion as the half time hooter sounded.

It was a dream start for the Bulldogs in the second half when a handling error from Liam Byrne put them straight back on the attack and they forced a couple of goal line drop outs before Moore was sent to the sin bin for an illegal tackle on Joe Taira and Jouffret added the simple penalty from in front to stretch the lead.

Bulldogs went further ahead on fifty one minutes when a Lions handling error saw Walker score in the right corner but Jouffret could not convert this one. The Lions just needed a spark as the Bulldogs middles seemed to be tiring and that came when Gavin Bennion, who had just returned from the bench, crashed over by the posts on sixty-two minutes and Hansen again converted to bring the Lions within four points.

With ten minutes left it was Bennion who turned the provider when he sent out a lovely short pass to his fellow prop Lewis Hatton and he went in by the posts with Hansen again slotting the conversion to give his side the lead again. Bulldogs tried a short kick off but it failed to go the ten and the Lions were still going strong at the end with Frankie Halton being held up in the last couple of minutes.

Ian Rigg reporting from Heywood Road.


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

Subs: Brickhill, Byrne, Kibula, Moore.

Tries: Lloyd (22′), Bennion (62′), Hatton (70′)

Goals: Hansen 4/4

Bulldogs: Scott, Walker, Smeaton, Broadbent, Galbraith, Jouffret, Yates, Dickinson, Leek, Brown, Brearley, Bretherton, Manning.

Subs: Gledhill, Taira, Tomlinson, Ward.

Tries: Brearley (35′), Gledhill (39′), Walker (51′)

Goals: Jouffret 3/4

HT: 8-12 FT: 20-18

Referee: Tom Grant

Attendance: 888

Photo credits: Pete Green


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