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06 February 2024


IAN RIGG at Heywood Road, Sunday 4 February 2024

The Lions progressed into the quarter finals of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup with a superb defensive effort which allowed Vikings only one try in the final minute of the first half. Time and time again the visitors peppered the Lions line, but rock-solid defence held them out. It was the visitors with the early pressure, but it was the Lions who scored first when Dec Patton sent a lovely angled kick towards the left corner and Rhys Williams got past Mike Butt to touch down, but Patton could not convert from the touchline. More Vikings pressure on the Lions line and more great defence forcing a ball handling error and even when a kick was sent to the corner for Butt, Dan Abram won the race to clear the line. Gav Bennion went close on twenty-three minutes being held up on the last tackle before the Lions forced another Vikings attempt into touch as they went for the corner. George Roby was sent to the sin-bin for use of the knees in the tackle ten minutes from the break and with the extra man Liam Kirk was held up a few minutes later, but with seconds to go before the half time hooter Vikings won a penalty in the Lions ten and the ball moved swiftly left for Kieran Dixon to cross in the corner but he could not convert his own try.

Vikings took the lead when Dixon added a fifteen-metre penalty goal for a ball steal on forty-eight minutes. Two more chances for the Vikings followed with Sam Wilde knocking on five metres out and then Dixon broke to feed Tom Gilmore, but he could not hold the pass. From this scrum pressure the Lions went back into the lead when Jake Spedding combined with Matty Chrimes after a kick through and the winger crashed in at the corner. Patton’s conversion from the touchline looked like it was failing, and he was being jeered by some of the crowd, but it seemed to pick up power and went straight between the posts much to the amusement of the home fans. Patton then added a penalty goal when Josh Eaves was dumped in a tackle on the hour and three minutes later it was Patton who made the score safe when he kicked towards the posts, and it deflected off a Vikings player for Jordy Gibson to collect the ball and score under the posts and Patton added the simple conversion. Butt then made a break down the right wing and the tackle into touch sparked a fight which saw Eaves and Jordan Johnstone sent to the sin-bin. Vikings then had another chance nine minutes from time, but Mitch Cox stopped the danger. And other Lions attack four minutes from time forced a goal-line drop-out and from this Gav Rodden was held up and then they forced yet another drop-out and this time they lost control of the ball putting Vikings on the attack again, but once again great defence held them out as the final hooter sounded.

1 Dan Abram
2 Matty Chrimes
3 Jake Spedding
4 Jayden Hatton
5 Rhys Williams
6 Dec Patton
7 Jordy Gibson
10 Gav Bennion
14 Josh Eaves
20 Jack Houghton
11 Gav Rodden
12 Mitch Cox
16 Lewis Hall

Subs (all used)
9 George Roby
8 Liam Cooper
21 Andy Badrock
24 Jordan Case

Tries: Williams (9), Chrimes (55), Gibson (63)
Goals: Patton 3/4
Sin-bin: Roby (30) Use of knees, Eaves (70) Fighting

24 Lloyd Roby
20 Mike Butt
3 Matt Fleming
4 Joe Edge
5 Kieran Dixon
6 Joe Lyons
7 Tom Gilmore
22 Ant Walker
14 Jordan Johnstone
8 Callum Field
11 Rhodri Lloyd
19 Sam Wilde
13 Nick Gregson

Subs (all used)
9 Matty Fozard
15 Liam Kirk
16 Max Roberts
28 Tom Whitehead

Tries: Dixon (40)
Goals: Dixon 1/2
Sin-bin: Johnstone (70) Fighting

Penalty count: 6-12
Half-time: 4-4
Referee: Michael Smaill
Attendance: 1,006


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