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Report – Bulls Edge Lions in Thriller at Heywood Road

10 May 2021

A great second half fightback by the Lions almost snatched the points from the Bulls in the last ten minutes and a Jordan Lilley drop goal midway through the half proved the winner in the end.

Swinton Lions 22-23 Bradford Bulls

The Lions started brightly and opened the scoring in the seventh minute when on loan Saints player Nico Rizzelli crashed over in the corner after some smart play by Geronimo Doyle but Martyn Ridyard was unable to add the conversion. Bulls tried to hit back and there was some good play by both Danny Brough and Lilley but ball handling errors in finishing off the good work let them down.

David Foggin-Johnston looked like he might score in the corner but the ball came loose as he went for the line, however in the next Bulls set hooker Thomas Doyle found a gap to score under the posts and Brough converted.

Deane Meadows should really have put the Lions back in the lead but his kick for the line was too strong and rolled dead. From the twenty metre restart Bulls went down field and Foggin-Johnston this time supported Brandon Pickersgill’s break to score in the left corner and Brough slotted the conversion from the touchline.

There was then another chance for the Bulls winger but the kick was too strong and Mike Butt also had a chance created by Jack Hansen but again too much speed on the kick.

It was Pickersgill who again created the next try when he broke free to feed Brough and he scored under the posts and converted his own try. The Lions were not lying down and with twenty seconds to go to the break Luis Roberts broke several tackles to score under the posts as the hooter sounded and Ridyard converted to put the Lions eight behind at Half-Time.

It was a scrappy start to the second half with the Lions knocking on at the kick-off and lots of lost ball from both sides, but it was the Bulls who scored first when Pickersgill got a deserved try but Brough failed to convert. Luis Roberts had to leave the field after a late hit on fifty-two minutes and never returned so the Lions had to regroup.

Then they lost Luke Waterworth who was sent to the sin bin for holding down and while he was off, Lilley added a drop goal to stretch the advantage. The Lions then had two good chances through Butt and Rhodri Lloyd and they added their fourth try when Rizzelli put in a nice reverse pass for Lloyd to go over in the corner and reduce the angle for Ridyards conversion.

Three minutes later they were in again when Lloyd this time made the break and fed the supporting Hansen who raced under the posts and again Ridyard converted to set up a grandstand finish. In the final few minutes the Bulls had another chance to score but Rizzelli was on hand to stop the attack by knocking the ball dead.

Ian Rigg at Heywood Road


22 Geronimo Doyle

1 Mike Butt

3 Mitch Cox

37 Nico Rizzelli

25 Luis Roberts

6 Martyn Ridyard

7 Jack Hansen

15 Louis Brogan

9 Luke Waterworth

38 Sam Luckley

11 Rhodri Lloyd

19 Deane Meadows

13 Will Hope

Subs (all used)

24 Paul Nash

14 Billy Brickhill

8 Sam Brooks

39 Tom Spencer

Tries: Riizzelli (7), Roberts (40), Lloyd (68), Hansen (71)

Goals: ¾

Sin-Bin: Waterworth (58) Holding Down


1 Brandon Pickersgill

2 Joe Brown

3 Rhys Evans

4 Ross Oakes

19 David Foggin-Johnston

6 Danny Brough

7 Jordan Lilley

24 Ben Evans

9 Thomas Doyle

10 Steve Crossley

16 Brad Gallagher

12 Aaron Murphy

15 Dan Fleming

Subs (all used)

34 Joe Burton

18 Ebon Scurr

11 Adam Rooks

23 Anthony Walker

Tries: Doyle (19), Foggin-Johnston (26), Brough (35), Pickersgill (49)

Goals: Brough ¾

Field Goal: Lilley – 1


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