Match Report – Swinton Lions vs North Wales Crusaders



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


Match Report – Doncaster vs Swinton Lions



IAN RIGG Eco-Power Stadium

Another big win for the Lions running in eleven tries as they swept Doncaster aside on a cool South Yorkshire afternoon watched by a crowd of just over a thousand and once again a good following from the Lions faithful.

Jayden Hatton put the Lions ahead in just the second minute after Nick Gregson had been held just short but some good passing saw the centre cross on the right and Dan Abram added the conversion and this was followed four minutes later when the ball was passed quickly to the left and Max Roberts powered over to score with Abram on target again. Doncaster hit back in the nineth minute when Ben Johnston sent a kick towards the right corner and winger Tom Halliday won the foot race to score in the corner, but Connor Robinson could not add the conversion from the touchline.

The third try came on sixteen minutes when the impressive Louis Brogan crashed over by the posts and Doncaster half back Johnston seemed to argue with the officials, and he was shown a straight red card by referee James Vella and Abram again made no mistake with the conversion. Ben Mathiou the on-loan Doncaster prop had a good chance on twenty-three minutes, but he spilled the ball ten metres out from the Lions line and put the Lions back on the attack and within a minute Roberts crossed for his second try after a break down the left again the conversion was good. Jason Tali hit back with the second Doncaster try within a minute after a good break by Halliday with Robinson converting.

Matty Wilkinson was next to score after some good build up play down the right by Jack Hansen and Jayden Hatton with another true conversion from Abram and with three minutes to go to the break Hatton scored a fine individual try on the final tackle when he kicked the ball through the defence and managed to regather and was being chased down and ankle tapped just short of the line but managed to keep the ball up to score in the corner and if there had been a crossbar challenge Abram would have won the prize but it was his only failure of the afternoon with the boot.

The Lions almost opened the scoring in the first minute of the second half when Abram raced clear down the right with Wilkinson in support on the inside and he passed the ball to the supporting player and as the Doncaster fullback came in for the tackle the ball was passed on to Hansen, but the final pass was judged forward. It was Hansen who scored the next try after a break again by Abram and he scored under the posts, and this too was converted. Next to score was Nick Gregson who sold a few dummies to the Doncaster defence before scoring under the posts and again converted, the next came to Rhodri Lloyd after the ball passed through quite a few sets of hands and he scored a converted try on the right. The tenth try came with eleven minutes left when Richard Lepori managed to stay out of touch with a run down the line finishing with the ball being put down under the posts and another simple conversion. Robbie Storey added a consolation for his side with six minutes left and converted by Robinson and in the last-minute Hansen scored his second crossing under the posts and Abram added his tenth conversion of the afternoon.


Abram, Butt, Roberts, J.Hatton, Lepori, Gregson, Hansen, Meadows, Waterworth, Brogan, Lloyd, Cox, Case. SUBS: Wilkinson, Spencer, Kenga, Charnock.

Tries: J.Hatton (2,37), Roberts (6,24), Brogan (16), Wilkinson (34), Hansen (48,79), Gregson (61), Lloyd (66), Lepori (69).

Goals: Abram 10/11

Pens: 5-5 , Half-time: 10-34 , Referee: James Vella , Attendance: 1015





IAN RIGG – Portway Stadium

After two games the Lions sit proudly at the top of the League One table with two runaway victories. On Sunday the team travelled to Birmingham to visit the Hurricanes who have rebranded from Coventry Bears who played in League One last season. They now play at the Portway Stadium in Solihull and the ground reminded some Lions fans of their visit to Markham in Canada a few years back being located in the countryside with a massive playing surface.

The Lions took the lead after six minutes when some good pressure on the line saw Deane Meadows cross under the posts and Dan Abram added the simple conversion and this was followed by a second try four minutes later when Luke Waterworth went close but from the play the ball Mitch Cox went over from close range and Abram again converted. Abram himself added the third on thirteen minutes when a nice arching run saw him score on the right side and again the conversion was good.

Hurricanes hit back with their opener on nineteen minutes when Brad Clavering was held up just short and the ball moved swiftly left for Ben Stead to slip a tackle and score and Benn Hardcastle added the conversion Tyler Walton the Hurricanes loose forward was sent to the sin bin by referee Liam Rush for a push at the play the ball and five minutes into his rest on the side line the Lions scored again when Jack Spencer scored under the posts and again this was converted by Abram but again the Hurricanes fought back when they got the ball back from the restart and Anthony Boardman managed to find his way over for their second try by the posts but Hardcastle was off target with the conversion. The Lions scored again with seconds remaining of the half when Richard Lepori set up the first try for Jayden Hatton to score in the right corner and Abram converted from the touchline as the half time hooter sounded.

Hurricanes grabbed the first try of the second half when Hardcastle was fastest to react to a high kick near the line to score and add the conversion. The Hurricanes defence was holding up well until Luis Brogan set up a try for Lewis Charnock to score by the posts on fifty-seven minutes and Abram again converted. Nine minutes later they were in again when Jordan Case score by the posts and again the conversion was good. The fans favourite Mike Butt was next to score when he collected a loose ball on half way to race away to score by the posts and again Abram made no mistake with the kick and with five minutes left Hurricanes tried to go short with a goal line drop out but the ball bounced nicely for Jayden Hatton to race in on he right and Abram converted to score the final points of the afternoon  to send the large band of Lions fans home happy.

Team: Abram, Butt, Roberts, J.Hatton, Lepori, Gregson, Hansen, Meadows, Waterworth, Brogan, Lloyd, Cox, Case. Subs : Wilkinson, Spencer, Kenga, Charncok.

Tries: Meadows (6), Cox (10), Abram (13). Spencer (29), J.Hatton (39,75), Charnock (57), Case (66).

Butt (72).

Goals: Abram 9/9

Referee: Liam Rush

Pens: 4-9 to Lions

Half-Time : 10-30



The club would like to provide the following update with regards to half-back Lewis Else, who of course came to the Lions from Widnes Vikings last autumn.

Due to a change in work patterns, which have affected Lewis’s availability to attend training sessions, our Head Coach Allan Coleman has been unable to select him for recent squads.

However, it’s our intention to retain Lewis’s registration, in the hope that should Lewis’s work patterns become more favourable in the future, then Allan can re-consider him for match-day duties.

However, for the foreseeable future, it’s unlikely that Lewis will be available for selection.





IAN RIGG Heywood Road, Sunday

The Lions kicked off their season in good style with an emphatic victory over the Raiders and the Lions wore yellow shorts in support of the Ukraine situation and the ground also dressed in new logos. It only took Liam Forsyth in his comeback game three minutes to score the opening try having not played for over twelve months and this was quickly followed by two more tries in a four-minute period with Jordan Case and Richard Lepori going over but Dan Abram could only add one conversion. Raiders had a chance on fourteen minutes when Josh Frost went close but good defence held him out. This was quickly followed by another Lions try when Max Roberts went in at the corner and then Mike Butt and Jack Hansen quickly followed with touchdowns but again only one conversion from Abram. Raiders substitute Lloyd Allen was sent to the sin bin for a high shot twelve minutes from the break and the Lions again hit them with more points when Abram and Butt both went in for tries and Abram converted both.

It was much of the same after the break with Roberts opening the scoring after three minutes and this was converted by Abram but in the build-up Nick Gregson was hit off the ball and Shane Lee was sent to the sin bin. Captain Rhodri Lloyd was next on the board for the Lions converted by Abram but when Lee returned for the Raiders he cut a big hole in the Lions defence but again good defence held him out. The Lions were soon back on the try trail when firstly Case sent Deane Meadows away to score under the posts and Abram converted again but then there was a thirteen minute purple patch when Lloyd scored from some good pressure on the line, Forsyth went in for his second after a good pass from Hansen and the  Hansen himself found the line from close range and the a good passing movement was finished by Abram on the right  with the full back converting them all  to bring his points tally to thirty for the match, but Raiders never gave up for the whole of the game despite injuries and it was Macauley Harris who went over from close range in the very last minute but Lee was unable to convert as the hooter sounded but the Lions set a marker in their quest to return to the Championship.



  1 Dan Abram

  2 Mike Butt

  4 Max Roberts

  3 Liam Forsyth

  5 Richard Lepori

13 Nick Gregson

  7 Jack Hansen

19 Jose Kenga

  9 Luke Waterworth

10 Lewis Hatton

11 Rhodri Lloyd

12 Mitch Cox

16 Louis Brogan

Subs (all used)

14 Matty Wilkinson

23 Jordan Case

20 Deane Meadows

17 Jack Spencer

Tries: Forsyth (3, 68), Case (7), Lepori (11), Roberts (17,43), Butt (22, 39), Hansen (23,73), Abram (31,76), Lloyd (46,63), Meadows (58).

Goals: Abram 11/15


  1 Dan Wilde

  2 Sam Pridgeon

  3 Josh Frost

  6 Aedan Coleman

  5 George Orriss

17 Shane Lee

  4 Fergus Simpson

  8 Luke Broster

  9 Dafydd Phillips

15 Sam Herron

16 Will Odgers

18 Callum Mulkeen

11 Joe Burke

Subs (all used)

12 Macauley Harris

10 Darrel Moyle

13 Ben Jackson

14 Lloyd Allen

Try: Harris (79)

Sin-Bin: Allen (28) High Tackle

Lee (43) Late Hit

Penalty count: 6-3 Half-time:  40-0

Referee: Scott Mikalouskas Attendance: 853

SCORING SEQUENCE:4-0, 10-0, 14-0, 18-0, 22-0, 28-0, 34-0, 40-0, 46-0, 52-0, 58-0, 64-0, 70-0, 76-0, 82-0, 82-4


New 2022 Player’s Warm-up T-Shirt

Swinton Lions and Supro are thrilled to reveal our brand new 2022 Players’ Warm-Up T-Shirt.

Kindly sponsored by the Swinton Supporters’ Trust, whose logo appears on the sleeve, the shirt is now available for supporters to purchase online, or from the Trust’s match day stall as from tomorrow.

Another addition to our “27 Collection”, and proudly depicting an image in shadow of our iconic Station Road on the 30th anniversary of its loss, the T-Shirt should be a great hit with our players and supporters!

Purchase via our Merchandise Store.


Lionesses run Illingworth close in League Cup game

Lionesses 14-22 Illingworth
The match was the first ever Cup Fixture for Swinton Lionesses and it did not fail to be a spectacle. It was a tough encounter from start to finish against the newly crowned Winter League Champions Illingworth, Halifax. The Swinton lionesses’ highlights were certainly in defense, holding their nerve and their goal line defense at times was outstanding.
Illingworth opened the scoring on the 20 minute mark with a well worked try, which was followed up with a further try as they capitalised on a Lionesses knock on in their own 20 for a score under the posts on 26 minutes.
The Lionesses worked well in to create sustained pressure on the illingworth line and on the 3rd set winger Catherine Sweeney rounded 3 players to score in the corner for a much deserved try. Just before the break against the run of play a midfield break by the Illingworth prop and good hands led to try again converted, with 4-16 the half time score.
The second half the Lionesses again put sustained pressure on Illingworth with excellent defense keeping the Lionesses out until Maddison Corrigan broke through from 40 metres out to score an excellent solo try. Holly Grimes kicked a touchline conversion to bring the Lionesses back within 6 points with 30 minutes to go.
Against the general run of play illingworth broke up field for a 60 metre break and although the attacker was halted, a fast play the ball, saw illingworth score by the posts as the Lionesses were still retreating. Several attacks from the Lionesses were defended stoutly and on a few occasions the last pass or a handling error kept the Lionesses from scoring until Ellie Thirkell weaved her way round 5 defenders to score an excellent try to conclude the scoring with 5 minutes remaining.
Martina Greenwood head coach
Yesterday  was a masked improvement since our last fixture back in January. We went away, worked extremely hard and today we put things right and I am extremely pleased with the team’s overall performance. Although we did not take the win we can certainly take many positives from today’s game, and the scoreline certainly reflects a well fought battle between the two sides.
“How this group of girls are performing with little or no knowledge of the game, with less than 2 years of rugby experience (both codes) is phenomenal and a testament to their work ethic. Each and everyone of them are showing signs of rapid progression and collective team spirit. We are on an exciting journey but a steady one and we will group again this week and move forward.”
Well done to Illingworth for making the Journey and for a very well fought game.
Try scorers:
Catherine Sweeney 1
Maddie Corrigan  1
Ellie Thirkell 1
Holly Grimes 1
Opposition Nominated  Lionesses player of match: Rebecca Roden
Coach’s player of match: Leah Christian




Ian Rigg at Cougar Park

The Lions put in a good performance to gain a good win in the Yorkshire sunshine against a team rated as one of the favourites for the league one title this season. The Lions attack scoring eight tries cutting large holes in the Cougars defences.

Dan Abram put the Lions ahead in only the second minute when a good passing movement saw him cross in the left corner, but he could not add the conversion in the windy conditions. Two minutes later some good build up work by Ben Heyes and Luke Waterworth down the left saw Max Roberts cross again in the left corner but this time Abram converted after the kick hit the left upright and bounced over for a ten-point lead after just four minutes. Billy Brickhill had to leave the field on nine minutes with a bad cut to his leg and he was replaced by Lewis Hatton. Cougars had forced a goal line drop out and from this they put pressure on the Lions line and former Oldham winger Mo Agoro managed to cross for a try on the right, but Jack Miller could not convert.

Abram went close again on thirteen minutes but was grounded just short and from the next play it looked like Jack Spencer would score under the posts, but the Cougars defence managed to hold him up on the last tackle. They did get over for the third try on fifteen minutes when Waterworth crossed under the posts after cutting inside and Abram converted again. Cougars hit back straight away when veteran hooker James Feather went through a huge gap in the Lions defence from a scrum to score by the posts and Miller converted.

Matty Wilkinson had just replaced Waterworth from the substitutes bench and he weaved his way in and out of about six defenders to score to the left of the posts for an impressive try and again this was converted by Abram. Nick Gregson was held up on thirty-one minutes but five minutes later a good movement of the ball through six sets of hands saw Richard Leopri score in the right corner, but Abram was unable to convert from the touchline and just before the break Lewis Hatton crashed over between the posts and Abram converted this one to give the Lions a twenty-two point advantage at the break.

Both sides were constantly changing players throughout the game and the Lions introduced their two new faces to the pitch with Owain Abel coming on just before the break for Gregson and Jayden Hatton was introduced at the break for Abram. Abel made a bright start to the second half and almost created two tries in the opening minutes but third time lucky on forty-five minutes he set up a second try for Lepori who crossed on the left, but Jack Hansen could not convert against the wind. Cougars hit back again on fifty minutes when Nathan Roebuck went through a huge gap from another scrum to score by the posts and Miller again added the simple conversion. Hansen scored the last Lions try of the afternoon when he kicked ahead from about twenty metres and Cougars wingman was unable to control the bounce of the ball and it went through his legs with Hansen still chasing the ball and it bounced up nicely for the Lions half back to regather and score to the right of the posts and add the conversion. It was Cougars who finished the scoring for the afternoon when Matt Bailey scored under the posts and Miller converted.


1, Dan Abram, 22. Ben Heyes, 4. Max Roberts, 2. Mike Butt, 5. Richard Lepori, 13. Nick Gregson, 7. Jack Hansen, 17. Jack Spencer, 9. Luke Waterworth. 15. Billy Brickhill, 11. Rhodri Lloyd, 12. Mitch Cox, 23. Jordan Case. SUBS: 14. Matty Wilkinson, 16. Louis Brogan, 10. Lewis Hatton, 19. Jose Kenga, 20. Deane Meadows, 24. Jordan Brown, 30. Owain Abel, 33. Jayden Hatton.

Tries: Abram (2), Roberts (4), Waterworth (15), Wilkinson (20), Lepori (36,43), L.Hatton (38),

           Hansen (64)

Goals: Abram 4-6, Hansen 1-2.

Penalties: 3-10 to Lions

Referee: Brad Milligan



We are delighted to announce the signing of 23 years old outside-back, Jayden Hatton, who joins us with immediate effect and is likely to feature in our friendly at Keighley Cougars on Sunday (kick-off 3pm).

Jayden, who incidentally is not related to our own Lewis Hatton, came through the scholarship and academy system with his home-town club Widnes Vikings, and made his first team debut there in 2019. After a successful 2021 season with Widnes, Jayden briefly signed full-time terms with Leigh Centurions ahead of the 2022 campaign, but unfortunately he then had to re-consider owing to other commitments. However, he is now eagerly looking forward to getting back into his rugby league with the Lions!

Lions’ Head Coach Allan Coleman said, “It’s great to have got Jayden on board at Swinton. He was a player that we very much liked last year when he was at Widnes. He’s a very strong and powerful player and he will add lots of quality to our squad.”

Jayden added, “I am really pleased to have signed for Swinton because it is a great club. I really want to help the Lions get promoted back to the Championship and I believe the squad here is strong enough to do so. I’m raring to go and I can’t wait for my first game with the lads.”

In other team news we can also announce that we have taken 21 years old half-back Owain Abel on a month’s loan from National Conference League side Pilkington Recs. Owain is already well-known to our Head Coach Allan Coleman, having previously been selected for Allan’s England Under 23s international community team set up.


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