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IAN RIGG at Recreation Ground, 17 March 2024

The Lions suffered defeat in their league opener on a very muddy and wet pitch in Cumbria. Conditions were heavy underfoot and there was standing water in patches as both teams at times struggled with the conditions. Coach Alan Kilshaw was without playmaker Dec Patton with a foot injury, but his able deputy Jack Stevens filled the spot and impressed with his half-back partner Jordy Gibson. There were two players in from St Helens as part of the dual registration process and young prop Noah Stephens and second row Jonny Vaughan both had impressive debuts.

The Lions took the lead on three minutes when Stephens broke a tackle on halfway and showed some good pace to be grounded five metres out. From the play-the-ball a long-floated pass from Gibson found Andy Badrock in the clear on the right and he touched down by the posts with Dan Abram converting. Haven forced a goal line drop out on ten minutes and three minutes later Abram added a penalty when Jack Stevens was fouled in front of the posts. More pressure on the line and the Lions forced three consecutive goal line dropouts and eventually the pressure told when Gibson threw another long pass this time left and Will Evans who tried to cut out the pass ended up doing a belly flop into large puddle as Jayden Hatton crossed for the try scoring his fiftieth point for the Lions as Abram added the conversion. Gibson then kicked a twenty-forty to put his side in a good position, but the Haven defence was good. Two sets on the Lions line five minutes from the break, the second from a controversial set re-start after a grubber had hit the stationary legs of a Lions defender, led to Haven getting on the board when Ryan King took a nice short pass from Jamie Doran to score by the posts and Jake Carter converted.

The home side started the second half like they left the first and forced the Lions into an error from the restart getting the ball back from their own kick off and they put pressure on the line, but some good defence held them out. The next try came to Haven on forty-seven minutes when King seemed to knock-on near the line and James Newton picked it up and touched down by the posts with the referee who was in a good position awarding it and Carter again converted. Abram stretched the Lions lead with another penalty for a high tackle in front of the posts. Haven forced a goal line drop out on fifty-seven minutes and they had good pressure on the line until Gibson collected a short kick to clear the line. Rio Corkill levelled the scores on sixty-eight minutes crossing on the left and Carter again converted to nudge his side into the lead for the first time. Time was running out fast for the Lions and in the final minute they were awarded a scrum just inside their own half. This turned out to be a little controversial as the Haven loose forward broke from the scrum before the ball entered it but he was not penalised and play was allowed to go on. In the very next tackle a Lions player seemed to lose the ball out on the far side and the Haven defence celebrated causing a melee which involved pushing and pulling and this ended with four players being sent to the sinbin as the clock was counting down with Josh Eaves and George Roby going for the Lions and King and Newton for the home side and the penalty awarded to Haven as the final hooter sounded. The big following of Lions fans faced the long journey home disappointed.

Abram, Chrimes, Badrock, Hatton, Williams, Stevens, Gibson, Wood, Eaves. Stephens, Rodden, Cox, Hall. SUBS: Roby, Spencer-Tonks, Vaughan, Fletcher.

Tries: Badrock (3), Hatton (21)
Goals: Abram 4/4

Referee: Brad Milligan
Penalties: 12-5
Half-time: 6-14



Richard Lepori and Brad Hammond to assist Workington Town

Experienced winger Richard Lepori, and our recent signing from down-under, centre Brad Hammond, are to join League 1 outfit Workington Town on loan.

The loan period starts with immediate effect, and will last for an initial two-week period.

Both players have been unlucky so far this season in terms of minutes on the pitch, so the arrangement with Workington represents a good opportunity for them to stay match fit, particularly now that our strenuous league campaign is set to get under way.




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



Landmark announcement on International Women’s Day!

Today is International Women’s Day 2024, a date on which we are proud to reveal our Swinton Lionesses Heritage Numbers!

The anniversary is further significant, as it was on International Women’s Day in 2020 that our Lionesses were officially formed, just a matter of days before the first Covid-19 lockdown came into force.

For that first year against the backdrop of the pandemic, our inaugural squad could only get to know each other through online meetings, but eventually they played their first games in May 2021 within the RFL Merit League.

In 2022 our Lionesses won promotion from League 1 to the Championship, in which they competed in 2023. Now as the 2024 season draws near, they are set to take part in a new-look League 1, in which our opponents will include the likes of Hull FC, Wakefield Trinity, Widnes Vikings and Leigh Miners Rangers. Some double-headers with the Lions are planned, so please keep an eye on our social media!

Qualification for a Heritage Number is simple – each player must have played at least one game, for the senior team, in a competition fixture. Heritage Numbers are then allocated on the basis of the date order of their debut, and when more than one player makes their debut in the same game, alphabetical order determines the number order. Heritage Number 1 is allocated to Rebecca Roden to signify the fact that she captained the team in the Lionesses’ first-ever match.

So far to date we can celebrate the first 54 players to have worn the Swinton Lionesses jersey with pride – with many more likely to follow over the coming seasons!

A happy 4th Anniversary to the Swinton Lionesses!

Heritage Numbers

1 Rebecca Roden
2 Patrycja Baraneck
3 Leah Christian
4 Ashley Deas
5 Sophie Fetherston
6 Holly Grimes
7 Emily Haley
8 Maddison Higson
9 Skye Johnson
10 Chloe Latham
11 Jo Mullins
12 Abbie Parkes-Holden
13 Helena Ryan
14 Emily Swift
15 Ellie Thirkell
16 Ellie Walsh
17 Maddison Corrigan
18 Carla Taylor
19 Chloe Birkett
20 Mollie Scotson
21 Isabel Birds
22 Catherine Sweeney
23 Eve Ashcroft
24 Mia Atherton
25 Daisy Pearson
26 Georgia Cunliffe
27 Molly Ross
28 Caitlin Price
29 Libby Curran
30 Morgan Corrigan
31 Heather Neil
32 Sophie Ratcliffe
33 Sophie Sykes
34 Madeline Trickett
35 Siobhan Turner
36 Chloe Burgess
37 Elizabeth Davies
38 Pebbles Whailing-Mills
39 Madelaine Higginson
40 Caitlin Miles
41 Maz Kane
42 Fatin Najwa
43 Lydia Elstone
44 Rhianna Scott
45 Abi Collins
46 Ruby Collins
47 Katie Garry
48 Summer Harris
49 Laura Bent
50 Darcey Price
51 Lottie Meacham
52 Tyler Moses
53 Mollee-Ann Pickering
54 Ellise Wright




IAN RIGG at Odsal Stadium, Sunday 3 March 2024

AB Sundecks 1895 Cup – Quarter Final

The Bulls came out on top in a pulsating cup-tie to set up a semi-final against Wakefield Trinity and the Lions suffering their first defeat of the season.

The game started with an error form Lions full back Dan Abram when he tried to find touch after the first set, but the ball sailed straight dead. From the first Bulls attack they went close, but Keanan Brand couldn’t keep hold of the ball near the corner. Bulls took the lead on six minutes when Jordan Lilley found a gap for Chester Butler to burst through and score on the right and Lilley converted. The Lions first proper attack ended in the Bulls ten, but defence stood strong. Aidan McGowan left the field for a head assessment but returned soon afterwards. The Lions were coming strong midway through the half and George Roby was allegedly held up under the posts on twenty-seven minutes and from the next play the ball Joe Arundel was sent to the sinbin for an off the ball tackle on Jayden Hatton. There was another off-the-ball on Jordy Gibson in the next set and this was placed on report. Kevin Appo tried to get Kieran Gill over in the left corner on the half hour, but the pass was forward. Lilley increased the scores with a drop goal seven minutes from the break, but the Lions hit back when they won a scrum in the Bulls twenty and Roby and Gibson combined to send Jake Spedding over on the right and despite the crowd trying to put Dec Patton off with the conversion, he slotted it between the posts. Lilley added a penalty goal seconds before the half time hooter for a push on Appo in front of the posts.

The Lions had first chance of the second half with Spedding going close and then the first Bulls chance of the half came when Sam Hallas was held up on forty-nine minutes. Then came another Lions attack but with an overlap the ball went to ground. Bulls increased their lead five minutes later when Lilley went from a scrum to score on the left and add the conversion. Just after the restart Appo and Lilley combined but the ball went to ground and then Jayden Hatton was held up before Roby thought he had scored but Bulls were called offside in the build-up. Again the Lions were coming strong and just after the hour good pressure on the line forced Brand to field a kick through to stop the attack. Josh Eaves pulled off a try saving tackle on Brand before his side went back up field and a kick by Gibson towards the corner was knocked backwards by a Lions attacker and Abram scooped up the ball to score in the left corner. Butler was held up with four minutes left and the game was finally made safe two minutes from time when a Lilley stab kick found Gill who scored in the left corner and Lilley added the conversion.

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
8 Liam Cooper
17 Matty Fletcher
21 Andy Badrock

Tries: Spedding (36), Abram (70)
Goals: Patton 2/2

24 Aiden McGowan
21 Jayden Myers
26 Keanan Brand
4 Kieran Gill
5 Jorge Taufua
6 Lee Gaskell
7 Jordan Lilley
13 Michael Lawrence
25 Corey Johnson
15 Dan Smith
12 Chester Butler
3 Joe Arundel
14 John Davies

Subs (all used)
9 George Flanagan
16 Kevin Appo
19 Sam Hallas
23 Dan Okoro

Tries: Butler (6), Lilley (54), Gill (78)
Goals: Lilley 4/4
Field-goals: Lilley – 1
Sinbin: Arundel (28) Pulling back

Penalty count: 7-11
Half-time: 9-6
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas
Attendance: Not Given




IAN RIGG at Heywood Road, Sunday 25 February 2025

Another sparkling performance from the Lions under the floodlights gave them a win which powered them into the fifth round of the Challenge Cup and another home tie, this time against Sheffield Eagles on the weekend of 9/10 March.

Oldham might be favourites to get promotion into the Championship at the end of the season and recruited well, but were no match for the Lions in this encounter. Jordan Turner dropped the Lions kick-off and from the scrum move inside the Oldham ten Dec Patton sent out a lovely short pass for Dan Abram to race over for the opening try on the left and this was his five hundredth point in a Lions shirt and Patton added the conversion. Patton added a penalty goal shortly afterwards when Elijah Taylor made an error at the play the ball. Oldham then had a chance, but Matty Wildie could not control the ball near the line. The Lions went further ahead when Patton put up a towering kick into the night sky, but Mo Agoro knocked the ball on when it came down and it bounced back towards the Lions attack and Jayden Hatton took a pass to score by the posts which Patton converted. The Lions defence was tested a few times just after this try and penalties also aided them into a good position. With minutes left to half time a Lions handling error gave Oldham a golden opportunity and good position for the experienced Danny Craven to score on the left and Jamie Ellis converted much against the run of play.

More penalties against the Lions put the visitors in a good position and Craig Kopczak was held up over the line on forty-three minutes and then another chance came when Jack Johnson looked like he would score in the corner but a super tackle from Jake Spedding took him into touch. More penalties against the Lions kept Oldham camped on the line but the watertight defence was not letting them pass and Pat Moran went close but again a ball handling error near the line. The Lions went further ahead on fifty-seven minutes when a kick towards the posts was chased by Lewis Hall and he won the race to score under the posts and Patton tagged on the conversion. The Lions went short from the kick off and the defence was forced into touch. The try of the match was scored on sixty-one minutes when Matty Chrimes offloaded a nice pass to Spedding in the clear and he raced ninety metres rounding Oldham full-back Logan Astley twenty metres out with the referee Cameron Worsley keeping pace with him to score under the posts with Patton again adding the conversion. Patton then added another penalty when Oldham were caught offside and on seventy minutes Ted Chapelhow crashed over for Oldham with Ellis adding the conversion. During the try celebration Chapelhow pushed a Lions defender, and the official sent him to the sinbin. The Lions finished strongly camped on the Oldham line, but they were already through to the next round.

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
15 Daniel Spencer-Tonks
24 Jordan Case
21 Andy Badrock

Tries: Abram (2), Hatton (13), Hall (57), Spedding (61)
Goals: Patton 6/6

1 Logan Astley
5 Mo Agoro
24 Ben O’Keefe
3 Jordan Turner
23 Jack Johnson
6 Danny Craven
7 Jamie Ellis
16 Owen Farnworth
9 Matty Wildie
18 Jay Chapelhow
11 Joe Wardle
12 Adam Lawton
13 Elijah Taylor

Subs (all used)
8 Craig Kopczak
10 Pat Moran
15 Josh Johnson
22 Ted Chapelhow

Tries: Craven (38), T Chapelhow (70)
Goals: Ellis 2/2

Sin-bin: T Chapelhow (71) Pushing

Penalty count: 7-14
Half-time: 8-6
Referee: Cameron Worsley
Attendance: 746



Swinton Supporters’ Trust given headline status for big cup tie

With our Betfred Challenge Cup 4th round local derby against Oldham looming this coming Sunday, this is an opportune time to highlight the invaluable contribution of our Supporters’ Trust.

For the past 22 years the Trust has provided direct and indirect financial input, and all manner of practical volunteer assistance.

In specific reference to the Oldham cup-tie, the Trust even stepped in a short notice to sponsor the match.

If you’re a Swinton Lions fan who currently isn’t a member (at a mere £2 per month by the way), then please consider signing up as soon as possible!

Below is a broad outline of what the Trust stands for, and the fantastic work they do:-

The Trust’s Mission

* To give the supporters a direct say in the policy making mechanism at the club, by offering financial and practical support in exchange for a shareholding and seats on the board.
* To promote links with the Swinton and wider community i.e. through the local authority, the amateur game, schools, and businesses.
* To provide a long-term vision in an effort to galvanise all Swinton supporters past and present.

How we do it:

* The Trust is represented at club board level by Trust Chairman, Stephen Parker.
* Trust Members and Trust Board officials carry out numerous and essential voluntary roles around the club and match days, providing valuable workforce to the Club.
* The Trust produce, publish and sell the official match day programme, and our volunteers sell Golden Gamble tickets at Heywood Road.
* The Trust are responsible for the management of the match-day merchandise shop for Club and Trust and online auction page, and assisting match ticket sales.

Recent activities:

* The purchase of vital medical equipment and supplies for the 2024 season, supporting our medical staff and providing them with the appropriate items to provide first class care.
* The Trust will continue to cover the cost of the Men’s team away coach travel in 2024, as in previous years, alongside provision of analysis software for use by the coaching staff and players.
* A refurbished Trust website, which now includes the Lions Tales Heritage Project, and an extensive statistics archive detailing match results team line ups and scoring records going back to 1877!
* We recently hosted our annual quiz night, hosted by our friends at Folly Lane ARLFC. Attended by teams representing the supporters organisations of several other clubs alongside Swinton fans and also a team from the club Board, it was a great night of friendship and networking.

Look out for new fundraising events which include another of the very successful Cheese and Wine Evenings and Bingo Events.

These activities are made possible via the subscriptions of members alongside proceeds from Trust events and merchandise sales.

For more information and to join please visit http://www.lionstrust.co.uk/



Betfred Challenge Cup – Third Round


IAN RIGG at Heywood Road, Sunday 11 February 2024

A ten try performance saw Swinton progress into the next round and a mouthwatering tie against Oldham. West Hull played some entertaining Rugby and never have up from minute one. The visitors were on the attack straight from the kick off when the home side were judged offside with the very first kick of the game and put some good pressure on the Swinton line in the first set. Dan Abram put Swinton in the lead in the fifth minute when he took a lovely short pass from Brad Hammond to score on the right and Abram converted. West Hull had some more pressure on the line before Gav Rodden crossed for Swinton only to lose the ball over the line, but they did go further ahead on twenty minutes when Andy Badrock broke down the left to score by the posts and Abram converted again. Ben Bradshaw thought he had scored under the posts for West Hull after a nice pass from Elliott Jones, but it was judged forward. However, a couple of minutes later they won the ball back and some good pressure on the line saw Ryan Wilson score by the posts and he also added the conversion. From the restart the ball was lost, and Daniel Spencer-Tonks reacted quickly to collect the ball and score by the posts with Abram adding the conversion.

Swinton got two early penalties just after the restart and this put them in a good position for Hammond to slip the pass for Abram to score by the corner, but he was unable to convert. Hammond then scored a try of his own finishing some good pressure on the right, but Abram again was off the mark. Richard Lepori added the next try finishing off another good move down the right but again no conversion. Playmaker Josh Eaves scored under the posts just after the hour when Abram made a break from his own twenty to feed him to race away to score and the conversion was on target as the visitor’s defence was under constant pressure. Jack Stevens added the next try on sixty-five minutes when Abram spotted a gap in the defence to send him in from short range and again the conversion was good. Winger Rhys Williams scored the nineth try with nine minutes left after a penalty in the final twenty and the ball flowed through seven sets of hands as he went in at the corner. The visitors were still giving it all and had a good chance to score with four minutes left, but the Swinton defence held out. The final try came just seconds from the hooter when Stevens and Joe Purcell combined well down the left to put Williams in at the corner, but Abram was unable to convert from the touchline, but praise must go to the young West Hull side for giving it their all in an impressive performance.

1 Dan Abram
25 Richard Lepori
28 Brad Hammond
21 Andy Badrock
5 Rhys Williams
18 Jack Stevens
7 Jordy Gibson
13 Mikey Wood
14 Josh Eaves
10 Gav Bennion
11 Gav Rodden
22 Cole Oakley
17 Matty Fletcher

Subs (all used)
23 Joe Purcell
8 Liam Cooper
15 Daniel Spencer-Tonks
12 Mitch Cox

Tries: Abram (5,44), Badrock (20), Spencer-Tonks (37), Hammond (51), Lepori (59), Eaves (61), Stevens (65), Williams (71,80)

Goals: Abram 5/10

1 Mason Palmer
2 Keiron Masike
3 AJ Chambers
4 Leon Stewart
5 Jay Hampshire
6 Josh Wood
7 Elliott Jones
14 Zeus Silk
9 Nathan Powley
18 Oscar Ellerington
20 Ryan Wilson
12 Benn Arbon
13 Ryan Steen

Subs (all used)
15 Ben Bradshaw
10 Robbie Jones
16 Kieran Welburn
17 Scott Howlett

Tries: Wilson (34)
Goals: Wilson 1/1

Penalty count: 10-8
Half-time: 18-6
Referee: Tara Jones
Attendance: 441


Brad swaps Cairns for Swinton!

Hammond signs one year contract with Lions

We are delighted to confirm the signing of Brad Hammond on a permanent contract which extends for the duration of the 2024 season. Brad has been on trial with the Lions, during which time he’s not only impressed in training, but also played well and scored a try against St Helens in the recent friendly.

Brad is a 21 years old centre and is the son of former Widnes player Karle Hammond. He has spent the past two years playing in Australia, with Queensland outfits Wynnum Manly Seagulls, and Cairns club, Northern Pride.

Brad said, “I wanted to come over to the UK and look for an opportunity. I was offered a trial here at Swinton Lions, and it’s been a great pre-season with the squad. I’m delighted to have now signed, with lots of footy to be played, with the cup games continuing and then of course looking forward to the start of the League campaign.”

Swinton Head Coach Alan Kilshaw added, “We’ve been really impressed with Brad during pre-season. It’s great to see a player back themselves, take a chance, and bring themselves over from Australia looking for an opportunity. He’s worked incredibly hard during his trial period, fitting in easily with the group. I’m delighted to welcome him officially into the squad and we are all excited to see him on the field.”

Brad has been allocated the 28 squad number and is available to sponsor. Please email [email protected] for more information.

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