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Match Report – Swinton Lions vs North Wales Crusaders

18 April 2022



IAN RIGG Heywood Road Sunday

The Crusaders took the points in a pulsating game watched by a large crowd in the Easter sunshine as both sides went into this game were undefeated. It was a tense start and in the open exchanges both teams were testing each other’s defences, but it was the visitors who had the early chance when Jordy Gibson broke down the left but his final pass to Rob Massam floated forward and then the Lions had a similar chance when Dan Abram set Max Roberts away, but this was judged forward too. Nick Gregson went close for the Lions on sixteen minutes and then Gav Rodden made a telling break down the left wing and looked like he might score but it took a good tackle from Rhodri Lloyd and Richard Lepori to stop his progress and knock him into touch. There were too more chances for the Lions with Lewis Hatton and Jordan Case going close but excellent defence from Crusaders held them out and in between Massam got over on the left only to be pulled up for a forward pass as he took the final ball.

It took twenty-nine minutes before the opening try came and some intense pressure on the Lions line saw Alex Eckley crash over by the posts and Tommy Johnson added the simple conversion. This sparked the Lions again and Mitch Cox went close after Jono Smith had been penalised for taking out Gregson just before the build-up. Massam looked all on a try scorer three minutes from the break when he broke clear down the left and it took a super tackle by Lepori to stop what looked a certain try.

The Lions started the brighter in the second half and Gregson had another chance being held up near the line, but it was the home side who levelled the scores on forty-eight minutes when a good build up and the final pass by Jack Hansen sent him over on the right and Abram added the conversion. Pat AhVan and Massam were causing the Lions defence many problems down the left and almost got a second try only to be pulled for a forward pass. Lloyd had a good chance for the Lions before Crusaders took the lead again following a nice reverse kick by the line and Rodden was fastest to react to score on the left and again Johnson made no mistake with his conversion. The Lions had yet another chance with this time Max Roberts being held short before Crusaders were awarded a penalty for offside, but Johnson was off target from far out with this one. The Lions should have finished the game better when they had two excellent chances in the last ten minutes with Lloyd being involved with both of them when firstly it looked easier for him to score as he was right on the line with a defender chasing but passed the ball to the support and it was judged forward and then he got over as he looked to score but it was judged a double movement. Step up former Lions half back Brad Billsborugh to make the points safe as he dropped a goal from thirty-five metres out to send the noisy band of Crusaders fans home happy.



  1 Dan Abram

  2 Mike Butt

  4 Max Roberts

28 Jayden Hatton

  5 Richard Lepori

13 Nick Gregson

  7 Jack Hansen

16 Louis Brogan

  9 Luke Waterworth

23 Jordan Case

11 Rhodri Lloyd

12 Mitch Cox

17 Jack Spencer

Subs (all used)

14 Matty Wilkinson

19 Jose Kenga

10 Lewis Hatton

25 Lewis Charnock

Try: Lloyd (48)

Goal: Abram 1/1


  1 Tommy Johnson

  4 Scott Turner

20 Jack Holmes

  2 Pat Ah Van

  5 Rob Massam

  6 Jordy Gibson

  7 Brad Billsborough

  8 Chris Barratt

  9 Callum Wood

10 Callum Hazzard

11 Gav Rodden

12 Kieran Sherratt

13 Matt Fletcher

Subs (all used)

14 Paul Nash

15 Brad Brennan

16 Alex Eckley

30 Jono Smith

Tries: Eckley (29), Rodden (58)

Goals: Johnson 2/2

Drop-Goal: Billsborough 1

Penalty count: 4-4 Half-time: 0-6

Referee: Matt Rossleigh Attendance: 1081

SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-6, 6-6, 6-12, 6-13


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