SECOND HALF COMEBACK COMPLETES SUMMER BASH VICTORY

19 May 2019

Swinton Lions made it a double over their oldest rivals in Rochdale Hornets with a stunning comeback.

A strong second-half performamce from Swinton saw them complete a comeback to claim a 40-30 victory at Blackpool’s Summer Bash.

Swinton Lions gained a stunning victory scoring thirty second-half points to keep Rochdale firmly routed to the bottom of the table.

Hornets started strongly and Scott Moore was held up over the line in the second minute and from the play the ball Harvey Livett knocked on and the chance went but the Lions responded four minutes later when Rob Fairclough put up a high kick towards the line and Mike Butt jumped highest to claim the ball and open the scoring in the left corner and Harry Smith added the conversion in front of the large following of Lions fans.

Smith then put pressure on the line again with a twenty-forty but the chance went when the Lions knocked on in the first tackle.

Hornets hit back on thirteen minutes after Luis Johnson had been held up over the line and from the play the ball Moore sent a floated pass to the left and Brandon Wood crossed in the corner with Dan Abram adding a nice conversion from the touchline.

Both sides then had chances when Lewis Hatton was held up for the Lions and then James Worthington bombed a certain try when he knocked on with the line open.

Hornets went in front on twenty-one minutes when Dec Kay made the most of a Lions error to score under the posts and again Abram added the conversion, but it was the Lions that came back when Frankie Halton broke the Hornets defence and was looking for support which never came and he raced thirty metres to score his first try for his club but Smith missed the conversion.

Shaun Ainscough then put his side further in the lead ten minutes from the break when he scored in the corner and again Abram slotted the conversion and then Livett added Hornets’s fourth try on the stroke of half time when the Lions lost the ball in their own thirty and Abram again converted as the half time hooter sounded.

The Lions came out in the second half with the words of coach Stuart Littler ringing in their ears and whatever he said to them worked a treat because within a minute of the restart Smith sent up a kick for the corner and Matty Ashton collected the ball to score in the corner, but Smith could not add the conversion and it looked like the fightback was on until four minutes later when Ainscough grabbed his second for Hornets after a nice pass by Worthington and once again Abram was faultless with the conversion to give his side a sixteen point lead.

Then the Lions remembered what their coach had told them at the break and they started to play and Hornets had no answer to what was to come. Firstly Rhodri Lloyd went over on the left on fifty-three minutes after a great passing movement but again Smith was off target with the boot. Two minutes later, Smith floated a kick to the right and Liam Forsyth collected the ball from the air to feed a short pass to Jack Hansen who was in support and he crossed by the posts with Smith converting this one to put his side within six.

The Lions then lost Adam Jones to what looked like a possible crush tackle and Callum Marriott was placed on report.

Both sides then had chances to score but both times it was a kick on the last and the ball ran dead in goal. Fairclough then put the Lions in with a real chance when he went past two defenders to score on the left but again the conversion was not kicked and they were within two points.

It got even better four minutes later when again Smith turned provider with a kick through the defence that Dec Kay fumbled and Liam Paisley picked up the lose the ball to score with Smith converting this one to put the Lions ahead with thirteen minutes to play. However, the Hornets still had time to come back and they were awarded a penalty for a high shot near the Lions line with four minutes left and as they swung the ball across the line Ashton intercepted a Livett pass just metres off his own line and raced the full length of the field to score under the posts with Smith adding the conversion to seal the points for his side but there was one last act in the final minute when Fairclough attempted a drop goal but it sailed wide as the hooter sounded.

FULL TIME: Rochdale Hornets 30-40 Swinton Lions

Ian Rigg reporting from Bloomfield Road.

MATCH FACTS

Hornets: Kay, Wood, Case, Worthington, Ainscough, Moores, Abram, Mitchell, Moore, Marriott, Coleman, Johnson, Livett.

Subs: Gleeson, Carberry, Robson , Gregory.

Tries: Wood (13′), Kay (21′), Ainscough (30′,45′), Livett (39′).

Goals: Abram 5/5

Lions: Hansen, Butt, Lloyd, Forsyth, Ashton, Smith, Fairclough , Bennion, Waterworth, Hatton, Paisley, Halton , Wells.

Subs: Brickhill, A.Jones, P.Jones, Lawton.

Tries: Butt (6′), Halton (26′), Ashton (41′,76′), Lloyd (53′), Hansen (55′), Fairclough (63′), Paisley (67′).

Goals: Smith 4/8

Referee: Gareth Hewer

HT: 24-10 FT: 30-40

Picture credits: Simon Hall

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