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23 January 2024

IAN RIGG at the Totally Wicked Stadium, Saturday 20 January 2024


The new look Lions put in a great performance against a young St Helens team in cold damp conditions, and gained a well-earned victory in this warm-up game.

The Lions took the lead after five minutes when a move straight off the training ground saw Jordy Gibson put in a nice kick towards the line and his half back partner Declan Patton was on hand to collect the ball and score with Dan Abram adding the conversion. Four minutes later they were in again when this time a Patton pass on the left found Jayden Hatton and he went in at the corner with Abram adding the conversion from the touchline. Andy Badrock then went close from another kick through on the left, but the ball raced away from him. There was a skirmish on nineteen minutes, but referee Marcus Griffiths soon had it sorted out.

There was another chance for Badrock on twenty-two minutes from another kick through, but Jon Bennison just won the foot race to kick it dead. From the restart more pressure from the Lions and another try when the passing movement finished with Matty Chrimes scoring in the right corner, but Abram could not convert this one. Saints had a rare attack five minutes later when it looked like Owen Dagnall might score in the corner on the last tackle, but great defence stopped him. Hatton scored his second try eleven minutes from the break after some good centre play by Badrock but again Abram could not convert. Saints did get on the scoreboard in the dying seconds of the half when Brett Bailey crashed over from short range after some good pressure and George Whitby converted.

Both teams made many changes at the break, and it was Saints who scored next when Ben Davies sent a low kick towards the line and a couple of Lions defenders lost their footing on the surface and the ball bounced nicely for Jonny Vaughan to collect and score with Whitby again converting. The Lions were not lying down and Chrimes added his second try on fifty-six minutes scoring on the right near the corner, but Gibson could not add the conversion from the touchline. Six minutes later trialist Brad Hammond scored on the right with a direct run for the line but this time the conversion was missed by Lewis Hall. Saints added their third try on sixty-six minutes when Ciaran Nolan went over by the posts with an impressive effort and Whitby again added the conversion. Badrock almost got a try with seven minutes left after a nice pass from Joe Purcell, but he was tackled five metres out.

Both Coaches were very positive with their comments after the game as it had been a good run out for both sides, and they had taken plenty from it. The Lions now move on to the 1895 Cup against North Wales Crusaders at Colwyn Bay next weekend.


Abram, Chrimes, Spedding, Badrock, Hatton, Patton, Gibson, Wood, Eaves, Bennion, Rodden, Cox, Hall. Subs: Porter, Cooper, Fletcher, Stevens, Houghton, Oakley, Purcell, Case, Lepori, Hammond.

Tries: Patton (5), Hatton (9,29), Chrimes (23.56), Hammond (62)
Goals: Abram 2/4, Gibson 0/1, Hall 0/1

Bennison, Dagnall, Hurrell, Sambou, Robertson, B.Davies, Whitby, Stephens, Burns, Buckley, Vaughan, Braddish, Royle. Subs: Will, Nolan, Marsh, Dean, Bailey, Sinclair, Carty, J.Davies, McGucken, Frost.

Tries: Bailey (40), Vaughan (44), Nolan (66)
Goals: Whitby 3/3

Referee: Marcus Griffiths
Half-Time: 6-20
Penalties: 12-10


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