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Match Report – Swinton Lions 30-36 Newcastle Thunder

14 June 2021

Newcastle Thunder went home with the points having scored unopposed points in the first thirty minutes of the game but the Lions staged a fantastic fightback that almost took the points away from the visitors.

Ukuma Ta’ai opened the scoring on nine minutes and this was quickly followed by a short range effort from Bob Beswick and these were both converted by Josh Woods.

Thunder were on a roll with the Lions finding it hard to get the ball and it was the visitors who then ran in three quick tries with Matt Wright, Connor Bailey and Calum Turner going over and Woods added all three conversions. However, the Lions started the comeback on thirty-two minutes when Will Hope went over from short range and this was quickly followed when Mike Butt and Ben Heyes combined to send Mitch Cox over on the left and Ridyard converted both.

Try of the match contender came three minutes from the break when Thunder were on the attack and Ta’ai offloaded the ball straight into the arms of Nick Gregson and he raced nearly eighty metres to score under the posts and this again was converted.

Thunder went further ahead five minutes into the second half when Wright added his second but the conversion from Woods was missed. The second contender for try of the match came soon after when Sam Brooks came steaming onto a short pass to break away towards the Thunder full back and then passed the ball to Jack Hansen who raced in under the posts to claim his two hundredth point for the Lions, Ridyard converted again to put the Lions back in it.

Waterworth and Jay Chapelhow were then sent to the sin-bin for fighting. More pressure on the Thunder line on fifty-six minutes saw Will Hope go over for his second of the afternoon and this again was converted by Ridyard. They game was stopped on fifty-nine minutes for a serious medical incident and all the medics and doctors from both clubs were involved is stabilising the patient and getting them to hospital.

There was a break of about 30 minutes but the officials allowed the game to resume and play out the last twenty-one minutes and just after the restart Thunder were awarded a penalty for holding down and Wright added the kick to stretch the lead. The Lions tried as hard as they could but couldn’t get past the Thunder defence in the final minutes and they held out to take the victory.

Ian Rigg at Heywood Road


21 Ben Heyes

1 Mike Butt

3 Mitch Cox

11 Rhodri Lloyd

25 Luis Roberts

6 Martyn Ridyard

7 Jack Hansen

8 Sam Brooks

9 Luke Waterworth

13 Will Hope

19 Deane Meadows

12 Nick Gregson

13 Billy Brickhill

Subs (all used)

16 Paddy Jones

15 Louis Brogan

39 Dom Horn

24 Paul Nash (NU)

Tries: Hope (32,56), Cox (34),Gregson (37), Hansen (49)

Goals: Ridyard 5/5


5 Calum Turner

2 Jack Johnson

3 Matt Wright

33 Sam Halsall

18 Alex Clegg

6 Jake Shorrocks

7 Josh Woods

8 Nathan Wilde

9 Bob Beswick

15 Jay Chapelhow

11 Ukuma Ta’ai

17 Connor Bailey

13 Liam McAvoy

Subs (all used)

14 Evan Simons

37 Owen Harrison

36 Mitch Clark

16 Jay Chapelhow

Tries: Ta’ai (9), Beswick (12), Wright (15,45), Bailey (24),Turner (27)

Goals: Woods 5/6, Wright 1/1


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