News

Ambitious Lions appoint John Hesketh as Business Development Director

Swinton Lions Rugby League Club is delighted to announce the appointment of John Hesketh in the role of Business Development Director. 

Swinton CEO Steve Wild explained, “We are constantly looking at ways to enhance our operational model, whether that be on the playing side through our Head Coach Allan Coleman, or on the business side by adding expertise to our Board. With the changing landscape of the sport, particularly in respect of recent much reduced central funding, we have to ensure that we are putting the blocks in place to underpin Swinton Lions moving forward”.

Once we learned of John’s availability we organised a couple of meetings and quickly realised that we are a good match. John’s impressive CV speaks for itself, and the Board has no doubt that he will prove to be a great asset to our club and indeed to our affiliated community foundation which is also going from strength to strength. Our club is geographically based in the midst of a Manchester conurbation of nearly 3 million people and there is huge potential if we get things right.

John said, “As Business Development Director at Swinton Lions, my job will be to help maximise both Club and Foundation income. In other words, I will assist in ensuring that we have all the necessary financial means to fulfil our sporting, community development and social impact ambitions going forward – reaching out across Swinton, Salford, Trafford and Manchester more widely to build brand awareness, connect with new partners and deliver on our responsibilities towards maximising partnership exposure, club and community impact”.

“To my new position I will bring varied and wide-ranging experience of income generation and business development, through sponsor engagement and community fundraising, successful grant application and pursuit of public sector contracts, having held management roles in the public, private and third sectors over the last 23 years – posts with the likes of Wigan Council, Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust (now Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles), T4C (now Access 2 Funding), The Boathouse Youth and Manchester Deaf Centre. My knowledge of social policy and public sector strategy is also strong as well, and across the Greater Manchester local authority areas in which the Lions have a presence, I’m hopeful of opening new doors and maximising a few synergies for shared benefit through collaboration as we push forward”.

“I am very pleased, proud and excited to be joining the Lions’ family. I am looking forward to meeting and working with present and prospective partners of both the Rugby League Club and the Lions’ Foundation over the coming weeks and months. If you would like to get in touch in the meantime, to share ideas or explore possible opportunities, please drop me an email (john.hesketh@swintonlionsrlfc.co.uk) or give me a ring on 07939 562710″.

“Otherwise, please keep an eye on our official communication channels for news of plans taking shape, finding traction, starting to realise results and enabling things to happen.” 

News

Swinton Lionesses face historic opening fixture!

Today, International Women’s Day, marks exactly two years since we announced the intention to form the Swinton Lionesses. 

After a rapid period of growth and enthusiasm, followed by a successful inaugural campaign in 2021, we are now proud to confirm that the Swinton Lionesses will play in League 1 of the Women’s RFL for this coming season. 

The Women’s League 1 season starts in April, but we can reveal we are hoping to confirm that six or seven of the Lionesses’ league fixtures will be played as double-headers ahead of our men’s League 1 matches at Heywood Road. We firmly believe that seeing the Lionesses play on the same stage as the men’s team is a progressive step for the sport of Rugby League and our club.  In addition to the Lionesses’ league games, further cup fixtures and at least one league match will be played in Pendlebury at the home of our community club partner, Folly Lane ARLFC, on their Blue Ribbon Field off Fraser Street. 

However, before the league season commences, our women will play in a Cup competition, with their first tie taking place this coming Sunday at Folly Lane ARLFC against Illingworth (kick-off 2pm). All are welcome to attend. Of course, it is now 30 years since an adult Swinton RLFC team last played a competitive fixture in its home town, so this game will mark quite a historic occasion. 

The Lions’ Director of Development, Damian Ridpath, said, “It is fantastic to see the progression of our Women’s team, and after a successful season in the merit league it will be exciting to see the team step up into regular competitive Rugby League. For this coming season most of our championship winning Under 16s players will be taking their first steps into open-age Rugby League and this will certainly add a great vibe to the team. 

“Our coaches Martina Greenwood and Steve Thirkell have done a fantastic job in pre-season integrating the squad together, and the hard work and enthusiasm of the coaching staff and players will no doubt be evident throughout the season.

“We are always looking to expand the squad, so if you are interested in playing Rugby League for the Lionesses, we are holding a trial for potential new players at our AJ Bell Stadium training base, on Wednesday 16 March with a 7pm start. Contact me at damian.ridpath@swintonlionsrlfc.co.uk for further information.”

News

We’re Hiring – Community Coaches

Job Opportunity within professional Rugby League

Swinton Lions Community Sports Foundation – Sessional Community Coaches

Overview

Swinton Lions Community Sports Foundation is looking to recruit two community sessional coaches to join our expanding team of community deliverers.

The posts are for three years and have been funded by Children In Need. A key role will be to deliver the Jose Kenga Diversity and Inclusion Project around the Greater Manchester Boroughs of Manchester, Salford and Trafford. There is a possibility that the roles will lead to a full-time employment position.

The successful candidates will be expected to deliver approximately 20-25 hours per month and will require a flexible approach to working hours as evening and weekend work will be required.

The role will primarily involve working with children aged 8 to 16 years of age, but will not be limited to that age group.

Person Specification

The successful candidates will have a minimum of an RFL Coaching Certificate Level 2 (or be working towards achieving a Level 2 Certificate).

The candidates should also have a knowledge of Key Stage 2/3 curriculum for PE.

The candidates should also have a knowledge of sporting and health and wellbeing framework in Greater Manchester.

The candidates should also have a knowledge of the Theory of Behavioural Change Model

The candidate should also be comfortable delivering Health and Wellbeing workshops. You will receive full training on how to provide this part of the Jose Kenga Diversity and Inclusion project when in post.

The candidate will be subject to a fully enhanced DBS Check. 

The candidate will be expected to hold a full driving licence or have access to travel.

Further information

Please apply by sending your CV and covering letter to damian.ridpath@swintonlionsrlfc.co.uk

The closing date for applications is Monday 21st March 2022 at 5.00pm.

Interviews will be held on Tuesday 29th March 2022, or close to that date.

The appointments will be a two-stage process, including the delivery of a session, plus a formal face to face interview.

Hourly rates of pay to be discussed at interview (minimum £10 per hour).

Successful candidates will be provided with Swinton Lions branded team-wear.

Training will be given as necessary.

News

93rd Anniversary of Station Road opening

Today,  2nd March, marks the exact 93rd Anniversary of the opening of our iconic Station Road ground back in 1929. 

On that historic occasion, Swinton, who were then reigning All-5-Cups holders, would face Wigan before a huge crowd in excess of 20,000. The game took place on a hard and frosty Station Road pitch, whilst the ground itself far from finished. The Townsend Road stand, which had been moved plank by plank from the Chorley Road ground still had a big gap in it, whilst the terraces were still in the process of being banked up with ashes from the Pendlebury coal field. But nevertheless it was an exciting and historic day in the history of the club, and those attending were about to witness a game that was befitting of the occasion.

The honour of scoring the ground’s first-ever points went to Martin Hodgson, who landed a huge penalty from nearly the half-way line. Martin added a second penalty just before half-time to leave Swinton 4-0 up at the break. But late in the second half, it would be a Wigan player who scored the stadium’s first try – the honour going to Roy Kinnear, son of the famous actor with the same name. There were only 5 minutes to go at this stage, but Wigan’s famous international full-back Jim Sullivan missed the potential match winning conversion. It was a costly miss by Sullivan, because with a couple of minutes left on the clock, the Lions’ winger Frank Buckingham jinked inside for a sensational try which shook the new ground to its rafters. Martin Hodgson added the extras and the Lions had won by 9 points to 3.

 

News

Will Hope departs Lions to join Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue service

We wish to confirm that Will Hope has been accepted into the Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service. Clearly this is a fantastic career opportunity for Will. We are very proud of him and he has the full support of everyone at Swinton Lions.

It’s the intention of the club to retain Will’s registration in case it becomes possible for him to be available for selection at some point later in the season. Over the next few days we will bring you more detail via our official platforms regarding Will, including interviews etc and how supporters will get the opportunity to formally thank Will for his service to the club. In the meantime we are sure our supporters will join the club in wishing Will all the very best in his future career.

 

 

 

News

Match Report – Swinton Lions vs North Wales Crusaders

SWINTON LIONS 14

NORTH WALES CRUSADERS 20

IAN RIGG Heywood Road Sunday

The Crusaders booked themselves a home tie against Hunslet in the next round following a good performance against the Lions who had fought hard to get themselves a slender lead, but the visitors bounced back to score two late tries and take the spoils.

Crusaders took the lead in the third minute when a great passing movement saw centre Harry Swarbrick crash over on the right but the conversion from Brad Billsborough fell wide. The Lions tried to hit back quickly but Will Hope in a great position knocked on near the line. The Lions were getting penalised a lot in the early stages and after three on the bounce Swarbrick added his second of the afternoon to stretch the lead again going over on the right, but the conversion attempt again fell wide from Billsborough. Hope was sent to the sin bin on eighteen minutes for backchat and from this penalty Crusaders almost scored again when Dante Morley-Samuels and Rob Massam combined well down the left, but the final pass was forward and the chance was blown.

Chris Barratt was sent to the bin for a shoulder charge on twenty-four minutes and a couple of minutes later the Lions hit back when Lewis Else and Mitch Cox combined to send Mike Butt over on the left, but Dan Abram could not convert. Brad Brennan got over for Crusaders just before the break but was grounded on his back.

The Lions came out in the second half with the words of coach Allan Coleman ringing in their ears and this seemed to have worked when Rhodri Lloyd went over on the right to score and level the scores but again the wind was too tricky for the conversion. The Lions then forced three goal line dropouts in three sets but the Crusaders defence was holding strong and then Dean Meadows went close before Jack Hansen kicked through the defence and chased but knocked on as the ball was running away from him over the line. The defence eventually was breached when Max Roberts forced his way over on the left to score for the Lions to put them into the lead and Dan Abram added the conversion from near the touchline but this lead only lasted eight minutes when Crusaders turned on the pressure again on the Lions line and Barratt went over by the posts to score after some good play near the line with Billsborough converting from close range to level the scores and it looked like golden point might be looming. Another good attack down the left by Morley-Samuels and Massam forced Abram to knock on ten metres from his line and from the scrum quick hands saw the ball spin left and Kieran Sherratt went through a huge gap to score with Billsborough again converting but the Lions didn’t give up and in the dying seconds Richard Lepori broke down the right before cutting inside and sending out a pass to Else and he tried to hack the ball on and Jack Holmes managed to smother it and the final hooter sounded.

MATCHFACTS

LIONS

  1 Dan Abram

  2 Mike Butt

  4 Max Roberts

11 Rhodri Lloyd

  5 Richard Lepori

  6 Lewis Else

  7 Jack Hansen

  8 Will Hope

  9 Luke Waterworth

10 Lewis Hatton

13 Nick Gregson

12 Mitch Cox

16 Louis Brogan

Subs (all used)

14 Matt Wilkinson

19 Jose Kenga

17 Jack Spencer

20 Deane Meadows

Tries: Butt (26), Lloyd (42), Roberts (62)

Goals: Abram 1/3

Sin-Bin: Hope (18) Backchat

CRUSADERS

24 Jack Holmes

  1 Pat Ah Van

  3 Harry Swarbrick

  5 Dante Morley-Samuels

  4 Rob Massam

NN Jordy Gibson

  7 Brad Billsborough

16 Chris Barratt

  9 Patrick Rainford

  8 Callum Hazzard

15 Gav Roden

12 Kieran Sherratt

20 Matt Fletcher

Subs (all used)

11 Paul Nash

22 Brad Brennan

25 Jack Houghton

31 Callum Hughes (NU)

Tries: Swarbrick (5,14), Barratt (70), Sherratt (73)

Goals: Billsborough 2/4

Sin-Bin: Barratt (24) use of shoulder

Penalty count: 3-10 Half-time:  4-8

Referee: Liam Rush Attendance:  516

SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-4,0-8,4-8,8-8,14-8,14-14,14-20

News

Match Report – West Wales Raiders vs Swinton Lions

WEST WALES RAIDERS 0

SWINTON LIONS  96

IAN RIGG Stebonheath Park, Sunday

The Lions sailed into the fourth-round draw of the Challenge Cup with a record winning margin their biggest since a 96-4 victory over Oxford in 2015. Dan Abram also equalled the goal kicking record with fourteen conversions, and this is now shared with Ian Mort who kicked the same number in the game against Oxford.

The Lions first try came after just ninety-seconds when a Raiders player was tackled into touch on the very first play of the game and from the play the ball on the Raiders twenty Louis Brogan went close but fed the supporting Will Hope who scored by the posts and Dan Abram converted. The next try came on five minutes when fast hands saw Richard Lepori dive over in the right corner, but this went unconverted and virtually from the restart Mike Butt got the ball near his own line to feed the supporting Max Roberts and he raced sixty metres to score under the posts and Abram converted this one. We had to wait five minutes for the next try and again Brogan was the provider as he sent Luke Waterworth in under the posts and again the conversion was good.

Rhodri Lloyd added the next try on fifteen minutes when he chased a Jack Hansen kick to score on the right which again was converted and again from the restart it was Lloyd who turned provider when he broke down the right to draw the defence and send Lepori away for his second and once again Abram was on target. Lepori completed a fifteen-minute hat trick when again Lloyd was the provider for him to score right in the corner but no conversion for this one, but the Lions held a thirty-eight-point lead at the midway point of the half.

Lewis Charnock was next to score when he scooted over from short range, and this was quickly followed by a try for Abram when he chased a kick from Hansen and both of these were converted as they hit the half century mark. Raiders had a glorious effort to score six minutes from the break when full back Mike Holden collected a stray Lions pass just inside his own half and set off up the wing on his way to the line with defenders chasing him but Max Roberts made good ground across the field just to tap his ankles about five metres from the line and he spilled the ball and the chance went. Ben Heyes scored the Lions last try of the half two minutes before the break when he collected a high ball close to his own line to break two tackles and race eighty metres to score under the posts and the conversion was added.

Mitch Cox had a great chance to open the scoring of the second half, but his effort was judged a double movement, but they did get over on forty-nine minutes when an overlap on the left saw Mike Butt cross on the left and this was converted. Deane Meadows was the next scorer when he raced away to score under the posts and Abram converted. Jack Hansen was held up over the line on fifty-seven minutes, but he did score seven minutes later when Abram made a break to send him over and the conversion was added.

Butt added his second on sixty-seven minutes when he crossed on the left and two minutes later Abram added his second try. Roberts scored the sixteenth try of the afternoon with eight minutes left after good play by Jordan Case as they passed the ninety-point barrier and the record breaking try came with four minutes left when Hansen chipped the Raiders defence to follow his kick and regather to score out on the right, but Abram could not convert. They Lions we now trying to hit three figures and were camped on the Raiders line but a try scoring move broke down when the ball went to ground with an overlap.

The reasonable following of Lions fans had a great ending to their weekend as they cheered their heroes from the pitch before the long but happy journey home.

RAIDERS

  1 Mike Holden

  2 Sam Pridgeon

  3 Louis Watson

  4 Josh Frost

  5 Dan Maiden

  6 Ben Jones

  7 Fergus Simpson

  8 Sam Heron

  9 Dafydd Phillips

10 Joe Burke

11 Will Odgers

12 Craig Lewis

13 Callum Mulkeen

Subs (all used)

14 Harry Boots

15 Alan Pope

16 George Orriss

17 Dan Wilde

LIONS

22 Ben Heyes

  2 Mike Butt

  4 Max Roberts

11 Rhodri Lloyd

  5 Richard Lepori

  1 Dan Abram

  7 Jack Hansen

23 Jordan Case

  9 Luke Waterworth

  8 Will Hope

12 Mitch Cox

13 Nick Gregson

16 Louis Brogan

Subs (all used)

25 Lewis Charnock

17 Jack Spencer

20 Deane Meadows

19 Jose Kenga

Tries: Hope (2), Lepori (5,18,21), Roberts (7,72), Waterworth (12), Lloyd (16),

Charnock (28), Abram (32,70), Heyes (38), Butt (49,68), Meadows (53), Hansen (66,77)

Goals: Abram 14/17

Referee: James Jones

Penalty Count: 0-7

Half-Time: 0-56

Attendance: 312

Scoring Sequence: 0-6,0-10,0-16,0-22,0-28,0-34,0-38,0-44,0-50,0-56,0-62,0-68,0-74,0-80,0-86,

0-92-0-96

News

TACKLE IT : 13 Second Pause

Rugby League is an inclusive sport. There will now be a 13-seconds pause before kick-off for everybody present to show support for anti-discrimination in Rugby League. We also encourage spectators to demonstrate their support for anti-discrimination by applauding players during the 13 seconds.

Increasing inclusion and diversity whilst tackling all forms of discrimination, including racism, is key to the growth and success of Rugby League. The TACKLE IT action plan is sport-wide and sets out specific measures which the sport is taking together to deliver real change.

We are playing our part in delivering the TACKLE IT commitments to make a positive, lasting difference. Rugby League stands in solidarity with players, coaches, match officials, fans, volunteers, staff, and supporters in the struggle against racism and discrimination in sport and in society.

In 2022 we are committed to making TACKLE IT not only a critical action plan for the game, but a more visible anti-discrimination campaign as well.

 

News

Match Report – Swinton Lions vs Whitehaven

SWINTON LIONS 28

WHITEHAVEN 22

IAN RIGG Heywood Road Sunday

The Lions came out on top in a highly entertaining game on a freezing afternoon. Both sides played virtually their full-strength squads and they all had good minutes on the pitch. Richard Lepori and Will Evans had early chances for their respective sides before Liam Cooper linked with Evans to score the opening try for Haven crossing by the posts on seven minutes and Alex Bishop converted. Bishop then had a good chance seven minutes later when he broke through only to lose the ball in a good position. The Lions hit back to level the scores when Louis Brogan scored under the posts after some good pressure, and this was converted by Dan Abram and the Lions took the lead on twenty minutes when Brogan sent Abram racing through a gap and he fed the ball to the supporting Lewis Else who beat a tackle to score on the left with Abram converting again.

Nikau Williams locked the scores at twelve all fifteen minutes from the break when he wriggled over from short-range following pressure on the line from a penalty and Bishop converted and with five minutes to go before the break Dave Eccleston escaped a tackle to score right in the corner, but Bishop could not convert from the touchline. Will Hope thought he had scored for the Lions just a few minutes into the second half, but he was offside.

Haven went back into the lead on fifty-one minutes when Kieran Hudson went over from a short pass by Bishop and the provider added the conversion to stretch the lead. Geronimo Doyle made a good break on fifty-three minutes only to be hunted down by Ben Heyes and from this passage of play the Lions went back up field and some good play by Rhodri Lloyd and Jack Hansen sent him over for the try to which Hansen converted. Four minutes later the Lions took the lead when Heyes sidestepped his was though a cluster of defenders to score by the posts and Hansen converted.

Tom Walker got over the line for Haven with twelve minutes left but was judged offside and the Lions had another chance when Andrew Bulman was forced dead in goal. The match winning try came with five minutes left when Heyes was involved twice in the build-up for Mitch Cox to go over on the left but Hansen was unable to convert this one.

MATCHFACTS

LIONS

  1 Dan Abram

22 Ben Heyes

  4 Max Roberts

  2 Mike Butt

  5 Richard Lepori

  6 Lewis Else

  7 Jack Hansen

17 Jack Spencer

25 Lewis Charnock

19 Jose Kenga

23 Jordan Case

11 Rhodri Lloyd

16 Louis Brogan

Subs (all used)

10 Lewis Hatton

  9 Luke Waterworth

18 Paddy Jones

13 Nick Gregson

12 Mitch Cox

20 Deane Meadows

  8 Will Hope

24 Jordan Brown

NN Harry Darby

Tries: Brogan (17), Else (20), Lepori (55), Heyes (58), Cox (75)

Goals: Abram 2/2 

Hansen 2/3

WHITEHAVEN

  1 Geronimo Doyle

  2 Dave Eccleston

  4 Will Evans

  6 Karl Dixon

  5 Andrew Bulman

23 Alex Bishop

  7 Nikau Williams

18 Guy Graham

  9 Callum Phillips

10 Tom Walker

11 Ryan King

12 Liam Cooper

20 Jake Bradley

Subs (all used)

13 Dion Aiye

17 Andrew Dawson

15 Connor Holliday

21 Kieran Hudson

  8 Liam McAvoy

19 Jake Moore

14 James Newton

16 Tom Wilkinson

Tries: Cooper (7), Williams (25), Eccleston (36), Hudson (51)

Goals: Bishop 3/4

Penalty Count: 7-7 Half-time: 12-16

Referee: Luke Bland Attendance:  377

SCRORING SEQUENCE: 0-6,6-6,12-6,12-12,12-16,12-22,18-22,24-22,28-22

1 2 3 4 5 67

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