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21 June 2024


IAN RIGG at Heywood Road, Sunday 16 June 2024

The Bulldogs’ strong second half performance gained them the points and kept the Lions scoreless with a solid defence despite they home side throwing everything at them. It started badly for the Bulldogs when Luke Hooley knocked on in his own twenty and from the scrum pressure Jayden Hatton scored on the left when two defenders dopped off the tackle to allow the centre to score and Dec Patton added the conversion. Bulldogs tried to hit back a couple of minutes later when Hooley tried to send Joe Burton over in the corner, but the ball sailed over his head and into touch. Hatton put the Lions further ahead on ten minutes when Patton sent a kick for the corner, and it was fumbled by a defender and the centre acted quickest to score but this time no conversion from the touchline. Bulldogs added their first try on fourteen minutes when following some pressure from a penalty Josh Woods sent a floated pass to Burton and he finished in the corner, but Woods was unable to convert from the touchline. The Lions next try came from a huge error by the visitors when they won a scrum in their own twenty, but the ball was lost from the first pass and Rhys Williams capitalised by scoring in the corner and Patton added the conversion from the touchline. A quick response from the Bulldogs when Woods kicked a forty-twenty and from this Alistair Leak found a gap to score to the left of the posts with Woods converting. Further chances for both sides before the break with George Senior and Will Roberts going close.

Josh Eaves was held up for the Lions on forty-two minutes before Lucas Walshaw tried to clear his line but lost control of the ball. Burton added his second try on fifty-six minutes when the Lions were penalised near their own line and from this it was again Woods who found the winger out left to score but again was unable to convert. The Lions were trying to get back on top and on the hour, Roberts made a nice break down the right but as the ball moved left it found Andy Badrock and he was just ankle tapped about ten metres out on the last tackle. The Lions were awarded a penalty in front of the posts on sixty-three minutes but decided to play the ball and this was lost in the second tackle. Bulldogs then forced a goal line drop out and it looked like it was all over for the Lions when Hooley broke clear to feed Senior who crashed over but was brought back for a forward pass. Dane Manning put his side in the lead for the first time with eight minutes left when he ran a nice line to score by the posts and Woods converted. An error from the kick off gave the ball back to the Lions and Jake Spedding almost made them pay when with two minutes left, he broke down the right with Tee Ritson in support but as he offloaded Burton got a hand to it and knocked it down to stop the momentum. The Lions did finish the game trying to penetrate the line, but the Bulldogs defence stood strong.

1 Dan Abram
32 Tee Ritson
3 Jake Spedding
4 Jayden Hatton
5 Rhys Williams
6 Dec Patton
30 Will Roberts
13 Mikey Wood
14 Josh Eaves
33 Leon Cowen
21 Andy Badrock
12 Mitch Cox
16 Lewis Hall

Subs (all used)
31 Ciaran Nolan
11 Gav Rodden
20 Jack Houghton
24 Jordan Case

Tries: Hatton (4,10), Williams (31)
Goals: Patton 2/3

27 Luke Hooley
3 Kieran Buchanan
24 Jonathan Mitsias
4 George Senior
18 Joe Burton
6 Ben White
7 Josh Woods
8 Adam Gledhill
25 Brandon Moore
10 Luke Cooper
11 Dane Manning
12 Lucas Walshaw
13 James Brown

Subs (all used)
9 Alistair Leak
15 Nyle Flynn
16 Michael Ward
NN Muizz Mustapha

Tries: Burton (14,56), Leak (30), Manning (72)
Goals: Woods 2/4

Penalty count: 7-6
Half-time: 16-4
Referee: Michael Smaill
Attendance: 917


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