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Report – Lions Knocked Out in Challenge Cup Round 3

12 April 2021

Warrington Wolves may be into the next round with a game against Catalans Dragons but my they will know they have been in a game because in a pulsating cup tie the Lions showed some great attacking flair and some real dogged defence and they were made to work hard for their victory.

Swinton Lions 8-32 Warrington Wolves

The game had some great build up during the week with the will he won’t he make his debut story on Greg Inglis and the return of the Lions fans favourite Matty Ashton to the ground where he made his name in 2019. In the end it was Ashton who was named in the team to start at full back and Inglis was forced to sit out another week waiting for full fitness and his debut.

The Lions made a really bright start in the early exchanges but it was Toby King who put the Wolves ahead in the sixth minute when they got a set restart and the ball was moved swiftly to the left where he strode over to score but Stefan Ratchford could not convert from the touchline. They nearly added a second a couple of minutes later down the left but the final pass went to ground.

Richard Lepori thought he had grabbed the opener for the Lions when he went over in the corner but there had been a knock on in the build-up and from the play the ball near their own line Wolves too lost the ball to put the Lions back on the attack. This time Swinton made them pay when a good passing movement allowed Luis Roberts to swallow dive in at the corner for the try and Martyn Ridyard converted from the touchline to put the Lions ahead.

It was now the Lions who were attacking the Wolves line and time after time they were breaking through down the right side and Jack Hansen went close eventually forcing a goal line drop out. This attack ended with a penalty for the Lions in front of the posts and Ridyard slotted over the simple kick to stretch the Lions lead.

Lepori had another great chance for the Lions with a break down the right forcing a good tackle by Ashton to stop him scoring and then another Wolves chance went away from them as the ball hit the ground again. The scores were level thirteen minutes from the break when King fed Tom Lineham to score in the left corner but Ratchford again missed the conversion.

King then added his second try five minutes later when he again went over on the left after the Lions had been penalised for a ball steal and this time Ratchford did add the conversion. Just before the half time hooter Blake Austin dummied his way to the line to score and Ratchford again converted from a difficult angle to give his team a twelve point advantage at the break.

The Lions started the second half just as they did the first causing the Wolves defence plenty of headaches and it was Lepori again who made another long distance break to come close to scoring but the defence just got to him in time. Lineham then had a good chance for the Wolves but the ball was lost about ten metres out. Ridyard tried to engineer a second try for Roberts on the wing but the final pass just looped over his head with the line open.

It had to happen that Ashton would return to his old club and score and of course it did on sixty seven minutes when he was on the end of a pass to dive over in the left corner and Ratchford again added the conversion to finally give his side a bit of daylight. From the restart the Lions went short with the kick off and the ball bounced away from a Wolves player straight into the arms of Sam Brooks but he was tackled by the on rushing Ashton who received a head knock as he dived in and had to be helped off the field by two doctors but was ok after the match.

Wolves increased their lead with seven minutes left when Danny Walker jinked his way over to score under the posts and Ratchford added the simple conversion. It was another short kick off from the Lions after this try too and again they won the ball but the Wolves defence held out.

The Lions were pressing the line right to the final hooter and maybe deserved more points for their efforts in the game but credit to both sides for a really entertaining encounter.

Ian Rigg at Heywood Road


1 Mike Butt

2 Richard Lepori

3 Mitch Cox

11 Rhodri Lloyd

25 Luis Roberts

6 Martyn Ridyard

7 Jack Hansen

8 Sam Brooks

9 Luke Waterworth

15 Louis Brogan

19 Deane Meadows

12 Nick Gregson

13 Will Hope

Subs (all used)

20 Tayler Brown

16 Paddy Jones

18 Cobi Green (D)

26 Jordan Brown (D)

Try: Roberts (14)

Goals: Ridyard 2/2


17 Matty Ashton

2 Tom Lineham

18 Jake Mamo

4 Toby King

5 Josh Charnley

6 Blake Austin

1 Stefan Ratchford

8 Chris Hill

9 Daryl Clark

13 Joe Philbin

11 Ben Currie

22 Ellis Robson

14 Jason Clark

Subs (all used)

19 Robbie Mulhern

21 Rob Butler

15 Matt Davis

16 Danny Walker

Tries: King (6,32), Lineham (27), Austin (37), Ashton (67),Walker (73)

Goals: Ratchford 4/6


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