LIONS FINISH SEASON IN STYLE

09 September 2019

The Lions cemented their 9th-placed spot with a superb win over Sheffield Eagles at Heywood Road in the last round of 2019.

The Lions finished the season in style with a 48-16 victory over Sheffield Eagles, with Matty Ashton bagging five tries.

A five star five try performance from Lions fullback Matty Ashton blew the Eagles away in a game full of emotion after another week in the news.

Ashton scored his first try in the ninth minute when Rob Fairclough floated a kick high to the right corner and the ball bounced off Menzie Yere for Ashton to collect the rebound and touchdown in the corner but Jack Hansen could not convert.

It got better two minutes later when Frankie Halton broke through to send Gavin Bennion racing between the posts and Hansen converted this one. The Eagles defence were under the pump and the Lions were pressing the line all the time and it was that man Ashton again who added the third when Craig Mullen broke free and fed the supporting fullback who raced in again on the right but Hansen could not convert this.

Jack Wells scored the fourth on twenty-one minutes when an Eagles penalty failed to find touch and Fairclough fed the second row man who scored under the posts and Hansen converted this to give the Lions a twenty point advantage.

Eagles then had good chances to score but good passing and great defence by the Lions snuffed them all out but Eagles had a player placed on report for an incident in a tackle on Nick Gregson and then they had a try disallowed for a forward pass as former Lion Ollie Davies scored under the posts.

Aaron Brown finally broke the Lions defence after taking a kick by the posts and Pat Walker slotted the conversion and in the final minute of the half they were on the Lions line again but knocked on and then back chatted the official and were penalised.

Big blow for the Lions in the opening minute of the second half when they lost Rhodri Lloyd with a head knock and he did not return but this did not knock the team off their stride and it was time again for yet another Ashton special when Hansen broke from his own twenty to feed the fullback and he raced sixty metres to score under the posts and Hansen converted. Eagles were not giving up and they added their second try on fifty-two minutes when some good passing saw Ben Helliwell score in the corner but Walker could not convert this.

https://twitter.com/Swinton_Lions/status/1171167168223961092?s=20

Number four for Ashton came on fifty-eight minutes when he slipped past Yere to race away and score by the posts with Hansen again converting. Five minutes later they were over again when Fairclough fed the supporting Hansen and he raced thirty metres to score and convert his own try.

Again Eagles bounced back when Ryan Millar who was always dangerous set Corey Makelin away to score by the posts and Walker converted.

The Lions were continuing to entertain right to the end and we were treated to one more Ashton special three minutes from the end when Bennion fed him with another nice pass on halfway to race away to score under the posts and Hansen converted again and in the final seconds Ben Morris scored his first Lions try by the posts and man of the moment Ashton stepped up to add the first and last conversion of his Lions Career.

Ian Rigg reporting from Heywood Road.

MATCH FACTS

Lions: Ashton, Butt, Hankinson, Mullen, Lepori, Hansen, Fairclough, Bennion, Brickhill, Hatton, Lloyd, Wells, Halton.

Subs: Morris, Gregson, P.Jones, Kenga.

Tries: Ashton (9′,17′,44′,58′,77′), Bennion (11′), Wells (21′), Hansen (63′), Morris (80′)

Goals: Hansen 5/8, Ashton 1/1

Eagles: Guzdel, Millar, Yere, Hellewell, Blackmoore, Walker, Thackeray, Dixon, Burns, Esslemont, Davies, Farrell, Brown.

Subs: Makelin, Thornton, Broadbent, Taylor.

Tries: Brown (36′), Helliwell (52′), Makelim (67′)

Goals: Walker 2/3

HT: 20-6 FT: 48-16

Referee: Billy Pearson

Attendance: 814

Photo credits: Pete Green & Emily Parker

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