LIONS DISPLAY STRONG PERFORMANCE IN CLOSE LOSS
08 April 2019
Luke Waterworth and Harry Smith both scored their first tries of the season as Swinton displayed a gutsy second-half performance against James Ford’s York City Knights.
Swinton Lions displayed a brave performance against top four side York City Knights at Bootham Crescent, with the hosts taking the league points with a 30-20 victory.
The injury depleted Lions put in a brilliant performance that almost brought them the reward of some points.
Without ten-injured squad members and two players leaving the squad twenty four hours before the game, Stuart Littler’s side were down to bare bones but oh my did they give Knights a game to remember and but for two great chances with Mike Butt and Matty Ashton being grounded just short they could have easily come away with the two points.
The Lions gave a debut to Jack Wells on dual registration from Wigan and despite taking a knock in the first fifteen seconds he had a steady first half in his comeback game after fifteen months out injured.
The Lions had the best of the early chances with Paddy Jones and Butt both having chances, but the Knight’s defence held strong and it was the home side who took the lead on fifteen minutes when Tim Spears crashed over from short range and Connor Robinson added the conversion from in front of the posts.
The Lions hit back three minutes later when Wells and Harry Smith combined to send Jack Hansen over on the left but Oscar Thomas could not convert from the touchline.
The Knights added their second try six minutes from the break when Matty Marsh scored by the posts after pressure from a goal line drop out and again Robinson converted. The Lions almost hit back from the restart when the Knights knocked on from the kick off and Kyle Shelford was on his way to the try line after a pass from Smith but it was judged forward by the officials.
The game breaker came twenty seconds from the half-time hooter when Marsh went through a couple of loose tackle attempts to score again by the posts and Robinson again converted to give his side a fourteen point advantage at the break.
Again, in the second half the Lions made the better start and Ashton could have had two tries in the opening ten minutes when firstly he was grounded inches short of the right corner and then a few minutes later he almost intercepted from a Knights attack knocking the ball in the air but he was unable to gather it on the way down.
The Knights almost scored again on fifty-two minutes but some great goal line defence by Harry Aaronson stopped a certain try as he was fastest to react from a kick through and ground the ball for a goal line drop out, but on the last tackle Sam Scott made the most of an overlap on the right to score and Robinson converted to put his side twenty points ahead.
Try of the match came on sixty-three minutes when Smith kicked through the Knights defence and it bounced up nicely for him to dummy two defenders to score to the left of the posts to which he also added the conversion points.
Five minutes later Graeme Horne burst through the tackle to score under the posts and Robinson stretched the lead.
The Lions were getting stronger as the game went on and Liam Forsyth added the next try six minutes from time after some good build up play but Smith was unable to convert this one and two minutes later they were in again when Butt kicked the ball ahead and nutmegged Marsh to collect the loose ball but he was grounded by Ben Cockayne about a metre off the line.
Cockayne was injured in the tackle and there was a short hold up before play restarted and at the play the ball Luke Waterworth saw a big gap near the line and he went over for the four pointer and again Smith converted. The Lions had a small but noisy bunch of fans behind the goal and the players took the applause as the final hooter sounded but Harry Smith appeared to be sent off by the referee Billy Pearson as the players left the field.
Ian Rigg reporting from Bootham Crescent.
Knights: Marsh, Mazive, Bass, Salter, Rawsthorne, Cockayne, Robinson, Teanby, Jubb, Horne, Batchelor, Scott, Spears.
Subs: Brining, Dixon, Stock, Porter.
Tries: Spears (15′), Marsh (34′,40′), Scott (53′), Horne (68′)
Goals: Robinson 5/5
Lions: Hansen, Butt, Forsyth, Lloyd, Ashton, Smith, Thomas, Bennion, Waterworth, P.Jones, Wells, Shelford, Brickhill.
Subs: Ganson, Hall, Kenga, Aaronson.
Tries: Hansen (18′), Smith (63′), Forsyth (74′), Waterworth (76′)
Goals: Thomas 0/1, Smith 2/3
Referee: Billy Pearson
HT: 18-4 FT: 30-20
Photo Credits: Pete Green and Emily Parker