Report: Lions lose Championship opener to Oldham

03 April 2021

The 2021 Betfred Championship season got underway on Good Friday when the Lions again faced Oldham but fell to a disappointing loss after a poor second half.

Oldham 28-20 Swinton Lions 

Oldham opened the scoring on five minutes when Dave Hewitt and Dan Abram combined to send Max Roberts over on the left and Abram converted. Ben Heaton was sent to the sin bin a few minutes later for obstruction and while he was cooling his heels the Lions opened their account when some good pressure saw Mike Butt score on the left but Martyn Ridyard could not convert. Oldham stretched their lead when Dec Gregory and Hewitt combined again down the left and Ryan Ince went over for the try but Abram missed this conversion.

The scores were locked at ten each on twenty minutes when Luke Waterworth darted over by the posts and Ridyard converted this one and with thirteen minutes to go to the break, Ridyard kicked a forty-twenty and the Lions made them pay when Rhodri Lloyd finished off a move to score on the right but again this conversion was missed.

The Lions fourth try came on the half hour mark when Ridyard sent a low kick towards the posts and the ball came back off them and was collected by the chasing Jack Hansen but as he tried to control the ball he was hit by an illegal tackle and a penalty try was awarded. Ridyard then added the simple conversion to give them a ten point advantage at the break.

Oldham came out all cylinders firing in the second half and scored the first try after seven minutes when Ben Heaton went over but Abram could not convert and then Nick Gregson had the ball stolen one on one in a tackle and Tyler Dupree raced away forty metres to score in the right corner. Abram did convert this one to lock the scores at twenty all.

Lloyd looked as though he had scored for the Lions on fifty-four minutes but this was ruled out for a knock on and the chance went. Tom Spencer was sent off by referee Cameron Worsley on sixty-four minutes for an alleged punch in a tackle and the Lions were up against it with the hosts throwing everything at them. Heaton soon added his second try when Danny Langtree put him through a large gap and Abram converted to put them six points ahead. The final nail in the Lions coffin came with seven minutes left when Oldham were awarded a penalty just inside the Lions half and then someone said a word out of turn to the official and he marched them ten metres closer to the posts where Abram converted the simple penalty to secure the points for his side.

Ian Rigg at Bower Fold

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