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10 March 2024


Betfred Challenge Cup 5th Round

IAN RIGG at Heywood Road, Saturday 9th March 2024

Sheffield Eagles are in the hat for the next round but were made to fight all the way for the result and the Lions could have snatched something in the final minutes, but good defence held them out. The Lions had a good first half and were the better team creating good positions but unable to finish the chances either by handling errors or good defence and early in the second half they were on the back of a heavy penalty count.

Eagles forced a goal line drop out from their opening set and from the drop out Eddie Battye went close but lost the ball near the line. The Lions took the lead in the eighth minute when Dec Patton put up a kick and Ben Jone-Bishop couldn’t control it and from the scrum pressure on the line the impressive Lewis Hall sent Gav Bennion through a gap to score under the posts and Patton tagged on the conversion. Eagles hit back eight minutes later when some good pressure on the line saw Bailey Liu cross to the left of the posts, but Corey Aston missed the kick. Another Lions chance came on twenty-five minutes when Patton forced a goal line drop out and from the kick Josh Eaves was held up. Titus Gwaze was pulled out by referee Marcus Griffiths for a late tackle on Jordy Gibson on the half hour but only a penalty game from it. Eagles had a good last six minutes to the half but could not put points on the board. Mitch Clark went close twice but, on both occasions, he couldn’t keep hold of the ball in good positions and in the final seconds of the half forced a goal line drop out, but the Lions defence stood strong.

A good start for the Lions in the second half forcing their former player Jack Hansen to knock on in his own twenty from a kick and from the scrum George Roby went close but knocked on at the play the ball. Eagles then were awarded a penalty for offside and at the end of the set they won a scrum near the line from a handling error. From this Anthony Thackeray send a lovely, measured kick through the Lions defence and Kris Welham collected the ball to score on the right but again Aston was off target with the conversion. Two handling errors one for each side in good positions came next before Lions substitute Matty Fletcher was sent to the sinbin for a late hit and from the penalty pressure near the line Thackeray moved the ball out to the right and Ben Jones-Bishop went over in the right corner and with his hardest kick of the day Aston converted from the touchline. Dan Abram had a try chalked off just past the hour for a possible obstruction in the build up and Eagles came back again with Oliver Roberts and Aaron Murphy having good chances but good Lions defence. The Lions were trying everything as time was running out and Patton forced another goal line drop out with six minutes left and from the kick pressure Rhys Williams finished off a good move scoring in the left corner and Patton added the conversion from the touchline. The final play of the match was the Lions and Jake Spedding broke down the right and tried to feed his winger Matty Chrimes but the ball went to ground and the final hooter sounded seconds later.

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

Subs (all used)
9 George Roby
24 Jordan Case
17 Matty Fletcher
21 Andy Badrock

Tries: Bennion (8), Williams (76)
Goals: Patton 2/2
Sinbin: Fletcher (54) Late hit

1 Matty Marsh
2 Ben Jones-Bishop
3 Kris Welham
4 James Glover
5 Matty Dawson-Jones
6 Cory Aston
7 Anthony Thackeray
8 Eddie Battye
9 Vila Halafihi
10 Tyler Dickinson
26 Alex Foster
23 Bailey Liu
13 Titus Gwase

Subs (all used)
14 Jack Hansen
24 Oli Roberts
18 Aaron Murphy
17 Mitch Clark

Tries: Liu (16), Welham (45), Jones-Bishop (55)
Goals: Aston 1/3

Penalty count: 7-13
Half-time: 6-4
Referee: Marcus Griffiths
Attendance: 412


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