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25 January 2020

Swinton Lions completed their pre-season preparations ahead of the 2020 Betfred Championship campaign with a victory over a youthful Warrington Wolves side.

Swinton Lions ended their pre-season with a very impressive 16-12 victory against Super League’s Warrington Wolves at Heywood Road.

A high-scoring first half saw Swinton in the ascendancy with a 16-12 lead. The hosts found themselves in a 10-point lead until Warrington scored a late try at the end of an entertaining half.

The second period was a more spirited performance from the Lions who rode out a lot of the early pressure in a scoreless half, which meant Swinton held on to secure the win to the delight of the home fans.

Despite a two-week break between pre-season matches after last week’s clash at Rochdale was called off, the Lions started positively against the Super League opposition. Swinton were rewarded in the 18th minute when a well constructed move was finished off by Rhodri Lloyd, who dived dramatically over the try line. Full back Jack Hansen then showed his composure as he converted his kick to put Swinton in a 6-0 lead.

In the 21st minute, Swinton scored the second try of the game through Frankie Halton. After being awarded a penalty deep into Warrington’s half, a dinked kick was collected and converted by Lewis Hatton. However, Hansen was unfortunately unable to add an extra two points with the goal attempt.

Just four minutes later Warrington Wolves got themselves back into the game with a try of their own, as Keanan Brand broke through the resilient Swinton defence. The goal was converted by Declan Patton to bring the score to 10-6.

Swinton’s brilliant first half continued when Jose Kenga added their third try of the game in the 37th minute. It was a free flowing and innovative move from the hosts that was deservedly finished off to increase the Lions lead.

Just as half-time approached Swinton unfortunately couldn’t hold on to their 10 point lead. Ellis Robson caught a clever cross field kick and added Wolves’ second try of the game and the goal was again successfully converted by Patton.

In what was a highly encouraging first half, Swinton led Super League side Warrington Wolves 16-12.

In the early periods of the second-half, Swinton held off relentless Warrington pressure with some great tackling to keep their four point lead intact.

The middle section of the second-half was quite scrappy, with neither team able to maintain a spell of pressure.

The Lions though showed great courage and determination, holding off some late Warrington pressure to record a victory much to the delight of the Swinton faithful.

With the season starting next weekend away to Whitehaven, Stuart Littler’s side showed plenty of encouragement for the season ahead in their final pre-season friendly.

Harry Dunnett reporting from Heywood Road


LIONS: Mike Butt; Richard Lepori, Ben Morris, Mitch Cox, Sam Grant; Rob Fairclough, Jack Hansen; Gavin Bennion, Luke Waterworth, Lewis Hatton, Rhodri Lloyd, Frankie Halton, Will Hope. Subs: Paddy Jones, Jose Kenga, Louis Brogan, Oscar Thomas, Tayler Brown, Joe Digby, Ben Heyes, Deane Meadows, Ryan Gray.

Tries: Lloyd (18′), Halton (21′), Kenga (36′)
Goals: Hansen (2/3)

WOLVES: Josh Thewlis; Reece Hamlett, Nathan Roebuck, Keanan Brand, Callum Green; Dec Patton, David Gibbons; Samy Kibula, Kyle Shelford, Eribe Doro, Ellis Robson, Cole Oakley, Luis Johnson. Subs: Connor Wrench; George Roby, Jake Gannon, Morgan Burgess, Myles Tate, Aaron Pimblett, Ellis Longstaff, Alex Pendlebury, Sam Thackeray.

Tries: Brand (24′), Robson (40′)
Goals: Patton (2/2)

Penalties: Lions 9, Wolves 8      Venue: Heywood Road      Referee: Gareth Hewer      Attendance: 686

Photo credits: Peter Green and Emily Parker


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