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25 May 2018

Swinton Lions face Rochdale Hornets in Round 15 of the Betfred Championship at the SummerBash in Blackpool.

Swinton Lions travel to Bloomfield Road, Blackpool to face Rochdale Hornets in the Championship’s showpiece event – The SummerBash.

Due to the postponement of the Round 2 fixture in February, this will be the first time the two local rivals will have faced each other this season.

The Lions were again denied their first win of the season last week by Barrow Raiders as a controversial penalty scored by Jamie Dallimore left Stuart Littler’s men to settle for a point, following similar disappointment in the return fixture in Cumbria.  The Lions now face a crunch double-header against Rochdale over the next week, who sit above the Lions by just two points heading into this weekend’s clash.

Rochdale suffered financial problems coming into the 2018 season as playing and coaching staff were faced with potential payment reductions in 2018 due to off-field issues but have managed to maintain their core playing squad. The Hornets have only won one match this season, when Alan Kilshaw’s injury hit side took a young squad to the Tetley’s Stadium, where they earned a narrow victory over Dewsbury Rams.


Rochdale Hornets 33-28 Swinton Lions

Hornets broke Swinton hearts with seven minutes left as they snatched victory in dramatic circumstances.

Chris Atkin playing his one hundredth and final game for the Lions landed a penalty in the fourth minute, when he was pole axed as he sent a kick for his winger, but he got up and dusted himself off to land the points and maintain his scoring record. Hornets hit back three minutes later when Rob Massam fed the supporting Danny Yates and he scored a converted try to give them the lead against the run of play.

Atkin then put the Lions back in the lead when he dummied his way through to score by the posts and was fouled in the act of scoring as the Hornets defence slammed him into the wall behind the goal. This resulted in a small fight started which saw Jono Smith and Josh Barlow sent to the sin bin. Swinton were then awarded a penalty try with Atkin adding the conversion and the penalty goal.

Mike Butt increased the Lions lead on twenty-one minutes when Atkin kicked for the corner and Butt pounced on it the score with Atkin then again converting. With pressure on the line, Ryan Maneely scored from close range and Yates converted again but it got better for the Lions just before the break when Butt scored again in the left corner following another kick by Atkin. However, he could not add the conversion.

Hornets hit back straight after the restart when Penny made a break and from the pressure Josh Crowley scored on the right with Yates again converting to put his side within two points. Then on fifty-one minutes the scores were level when Yates landed a penalty and the home side continued the pressure with Jake Eccleston going over on the left from a kick but no conversion this time.

Swinton had been under the pump since the restart but scored an excellent try on fifty-six as Jack Murphy collected from Mike Butt’s 70 metre sprint to score under the posts with Atkin converting to give the Lions a two point lead. The joy was short lived though as Hornets’ Jono Smith scored from short range but again no conversion.

Atkin then levelled the scores with twelve minutes left when Hornets were caught off side in front of their own posts but the home side again went back into the lead with eight minutes left when Lewis Foster slotted over a drop goal.

The fans were being treated to some end to end rugby and the Lions were awarded another penalty with seven minutes left. Atkins’ kick struck the right hand post and bounced back and the Hornets gained the ball back. A minute later they were elated when Massam scored a fortunate try in the left corner after the ball appeared to bounce off one of his team mates before propelling forward to the winger, who scored in the corner to break the Lions fans hearts.

Ian Rigg reporting at the Crown Oil Arena, 09/07/2017


Head Coach Stuart Littler spoke to Love Rugby League’s Dave Parkinson follow the Lions’ draw against Barrow Raiders.

“We’ve got a point but we wanted two. We’ve got to move forward, it’s coming thick and fast. We’ve got games coming that are massive for the club. When we do play well, we do question teams. But then we come back and make a play two error, then another play two error and then we’re in our own half and the game gets harder and it’s a warm day. We back it up with a few penalties and we can’t afford it at this level.

“It’s a big month with Barrow then Rochdale, Rochdale and Sheffield but we can afford to look past whoever is next. We’ve got Rochdale coming up, once at the Bash and once here (Heywood Road). We need two points and have to do whatever it takes to make sure we get those two points.”


Aaron Hall is still unavailable for selection due to a knee injury. Elliot Caine drops out of the squad as Josh Woods joins up with the Lions’ 19-man selection on dual registration partners Wigan Warriors. Back-rower Matt Sarsfieldleft the club this week by mutual consent.

LIONS SQUAD TO FACE HORNETS: Ben Austin, Josh Barlow, Ilias Bergal, Brad Billsborough, Andy Bracek, Mike Butt, Gabe Fell, Chris Hankinson, Jack Hansen, Hayden Hansen, Will Hope, Rhodri Lloyd, Liam Paisley, Kyle Shelford, Andy Thornley, George Tyson, Luke Waterworth, Josh Woods, Chris Worrall.

HORNETS SQUAD TO FACE LIONS: Dec Kay, Richard Lepori, Earl Hurst, Deon Cross, Rob Massam, Lewis Palfrey, Danny Yates, Billy Brickhill, Tyler Whittaker, Lewis Hatton, Seta Tala, Lee Mitchell, Dave Allen, Jonah Cunningham, Joe Taira, Matty Hadden, Jordan Syme, Pat Moran, Blake Turner


REFEREE: M. Rossleigh  TOUCH JUDGES: G. Melling, A. Sweet

KICK-OFF: Sunday 27th May, 15:15 BST

VENUE: Bloomfield Rd, Seasiders Way, Blackpool, FY1 6JJ

TICKETS: Adult £25, Concession £12.50, Weekend ticket: Adult £40, Concession £20

SummerBash Tickets can be bought at Greens Cafe, The White Swan Pub or online at swintonlionshop.com


Saturday 26 May
Barrow Raiders v Sheffield Eagles (15.00pm), Halifax RLFC v Featherstone Rovers (17.15), Toronto Wolfpack v Leigh Centurions (19.30)

Sunday 27 May
Toulouse Olympique v London Broncos (13.00), Rochdale Hornets v Swinton Lions (15.15), Batley Bulldogs v Dewsbury Rams (17:30)

The venue wishes to inform supporters that any purchases to be made at the stadium can only be done made with cash. 


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