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10 June 2019

A busy day at Heywood Road was finished with a strong performance against the Wolfpack in the Betfred Championship.

Swinton Lions displayed a gutsy performance in their 34-14 defeat to table toppers Toronto Wolfpack at Heywood Road.

Toronto Wolfpack remain top of the league ladder but they were given a stern test by the Lions on their own patch.

The Lions caught the Wolfpack defence out straight from the kick off when the ball bounced in the Lions favour and Rob Fairclough went close in the first attack.

Wolfpack responded well and Ricky Leutele almost got over on the left from a kick through but the ball rolled dead.

Both Anthony Mullally and Liam Kay had tries cancelled out by the officials within a couple of minutes of each other but both passes were forward.

Wolfpack took the lead on thirteen minutes when Andrew Dixon followed a kick and scored on the right and Blake Wallace converted and they were in again five minutes later when Jon Wilkin was held up but from the pressure at the play the ball Leutele went over on the left but this conversion was missed.

Samy Kibula came off the bench for the Lions on twenty-two minutes and almost made an instant impact with a break up the middle but they lost the ball on the next play the ball.

Chase Stanley added the third try twelve minutes from the break when he chased a kick and just got finger tips to it to score and Wallace again converted this one.

Adam Sidlow was then help up twice in the same set and then they lost the ball but the Lions were trying hard to break the line and Matty Ashton got over for what he thought was a try but it was cancelled out for obstruction.

Wolfpack started strongly in the second half and had a great chance but Joe Mellor could not control an inside pass in the damp conditions and on fifty three minutes Sidlow went for the line again but lost the ball and then disputed it and the referee penalised him.

The Lions hit back on fifty-seven minutes when they forced a goal line drop out and from the kick the Lions engineered a super try when Jack Hansen sent a reverse pass for Mike Butt to score by the posts and Rob Fairclough converted.

Wolfpack hit back with two tries in a three minute spell when firstly Leutelle followed a kick to score and then Bob Beswick finished off a fine passing movement to slide over by the posts with Wallace converting both to stretch the advantage.

The Lions were giving a great account of themselves and they added a second try when Fairclough forced his way over on the left but was unable to add the conversion, but the Wolfpack came back again and Sidlow found a gap to dive in by the posts with Wallace again converting.

The Lions had a great chance in the last minute when Fairclough chipped the defence and put in a kick for Butt to chase but Kay just won the foot race to hack the ball dead and from the goal line drop out more pressure on the line and Fairclough put in a nice short kick for Butt who raced onto it to score in the corner as the hooter sounded but Fairclough could not convert but it was a great effort.

Ian Rigg reporting from Heywood Road.



Lions: Ashton, Butt, Lloyd, Paisley, Lepori, Hansen, Fairclough, Bennion, Waterworth, Hatton, Wells, A.Jones, P.Jones.

Subs: Brickhill, Shelford, Kenga, Kibula.

Tries: Butt (17′,80′), Fairclough (70′)

Goals: Fairclough 1/3

Wolfpack: Wallace, Kay, Stanley, Leutele, Rawsthorne, Mellor, McCrone, Olbison, Beswick, Mullally, Dixon, Thompson, Wilkin.

Subs: Ackers, Sidlow, Worthington, Brierley.

Tries: Dixon (12′), Leutelle (19′,60′), Stanley (28′), Beswick (63′), Sidlow (76′)

Goals: Wallace 5/6

Referee: Greg Dolan

Attendance: 1281

HT: 0-16 FT: 14-34

Photo credits: Pete Green & Emily Parker


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