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Match Report – Swinton Lionesses vs Halifax Panthers

14 June 2022

Swinton Lionesses  58          Halifax Panthers  22

Alan Dixon at Blue Ribbon Playing Fields

The Lionesses remained top of the table after beating a hard earned victory over a much bigger Halifax Panthers. Halifax came into the game in second place and were the only other unbeaten team in the league.

It took the Lionesses four minutes to open the scoring. The Lionesses recovered a Halifax knock on and moved the ball downfield. Ellie Thirkell was tackled just short of the line, and from the play the ball, Mia Atherton scooted over to score. Georgia Cunliffe couldn’t convert in the windy conditions. The Lionesses knocked on at the restart and from the resulting scrum, Halifax moved the ball downfield and Elyse Royale scored under the posts. Chloe Brown converted and Halifax led 6-4. Halifax continued to attack the Lionesses line and in the twelfth minute, they put in a kick which was recovered by Chloe Latham. The ball was moved across to Maddie Corrigan who raced 50 metres before being tackled. A quick play the ball resulted in Maddie Higson weaving her way through the Halifax defence to score. Georgia Cunliffe added the extras and the Lionesses led 10-6. A high Tackle by Halifax in the 18th minute resulted in a Swinton penalty and Mia Atherton ran 30 metres to score in the corner. Georgia Cunliffe conversion attempt fell just short.

Halifax reduced the arrears to 2 points after the Lionesses were caught offside. From the penalty Carly Yeaman scored next to the post. Stacy Mowforth added the extras. Five minutes later, Halifax’s attack broke down with a wayward pass which was recovered by Catherine Sweeney. From the play the ball, Mia Atherton broke through the defence and raced 90 metres to score next to the posts. Georgia Cunliffe kicked the conversion and the Lionesses led 20-12. The Lionesses failed to take the kick off and were forced to drop out from under the posts. The drop out failed to go 10 metres. From the resulting penalty, Halifax were held up over the line. A couple of tackles later Elyse Royale crashed over the line to score. Chloe Brown kicked the conversion and the Lionesses lead was back to 2 points. This time Halifax couldn’t field the kick off as it went into touch. The Lionesses moved the ball across field and a long pass by Georgia Cunliffe found Molly Ross on the wing who scored in the corner. Georgia Cunliffe couldn’t add the conversion and the Lionesses led 24-18 at the break.

Halifax restarted the game and from the first tackle, Maddie Corrigan raced 60 metres to score under the posts. Georgia Cunliffe kick the conversion and the Lionesses now led 30-18. Halifax could not cope with the Lionesses speed as Ellie Thirkell went on a 30 metre weaving run. Maddie Corrigan then went on a run and was only stopped by a high tackle which knocked out one of the Halifax players. At this point the game was halted and an ambulance was called. A decision was made to continue the game on the neighbouring pitch while treatment was given to the unconscious player. The resulting penalty had the Lionesses camped on the Halifax line. After being held up twice, the ball was moved across to Maddie Higson who dummied the defence before passing it to Ellie Thirkell who scored in the corner. Georgia Cunliffe couldn’t add the extras and the Lionesses now led 34-18. There was another lengthy stoppage in the 49th minute when a Halifax player went down with a suspected broken ankle. Halifax were caught cold from the restart as Maddie Corrigan ran 70 metres to score by the posts. Georgia Cunliffe added the extras to make it 40-18. The Panthers hit back 4 minutes later when Kate Wilkinson-Hill scored in the corner. Kirsty Hodgson missed the conversion.

Halifax were now putting pressure on the Swinton defence, but the Lionesses held out. They almost broke the Lionesses defence with 10 minutes left, but Becky Goulding dropped the ball over the line. The Lionesses moved the ball downfield and after a scrum on the Halifax 30 metre line, Maddie Higson weaved her way to the corner to score. Georgia Cunliffe kicked the conversion and the lead was now 40-22. From the restart, good runs by Mia Atherton and Catherine Sweeney resulted in Holly Grimes scoring a try. She converted her own try to make it 52-22. The Lionesses final try came straight from the restart as Chloe Birkett broke through the defence on a 70 metre run to the line to score under the posts. Holly Grimes converted to make the final score 58-22.

Teams :

Swinton Lionesses : Maddie Higson, Izzy Birds, Mia Atherton, Maddie Corrigan, Chloe Latham, Ashley Deas, Ellie Thirkell, Georgia Cunliffe, Eve Ashcroft, Emily Haley, Chloe Birkett, Abbie Parkes-Holden, Rebecca Roden. SUBS : Patrycja Baranek, Mollie Scotson, Molly Ross, Holly Grimes, Catherine Sweeney, Jo Mullins, Leah Christian

Tries : Atherton (4,18,30), Higson (8,72), Ross (38), Corrigan (41,49), Thirkell (44), Grimes (75), Birkett (77)

Goals : Cunliffe 5, Grimes 2

Halifax Panthers : Erin Ingeby, Georgia Pitman-Smith, Becky Goulding, Amelia Greenwood, Kelly Darragh, Molly England, Sarah Kennedy, Stacy Mowforth, Rochelle Statham-Drake, Chloe Brown, Shell Thomas, Carly Yeaman, Beth Greenwood, SUBS : Elyse Royale, Kate Wilkinson-Hill, Kara Colvin, Kirsty Hodgson

Tries : Royale (8,35), Yeaman (25), Wilkinson-Hill (53)

Goals : Brown 2, Mowforth 1

Pens : 3-3                  Half Time : 24-18


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