We're sponsored by Glossop Caravans


19 March 2024


IAN RIGG at Recreation Ground, 17 March 2024

The Lions suffered defeat in their league opener on a very muddy and wet pitch in Cumbria. Conditions were heavy underfoot and there was standing water in patches as both teams at times struggled with the conditions. Coach Alan Kilshaw was without playmaker Dec Patton with a foot injury, but his able deputy Jack Stevens filled the spot and impressed with his half-back partner Jordy Gibson. There were two players in from St Helens as part of the dual registration process and young prop Noah Stephens and second row Jonny Vaughan both had impressive debuts.

The Lions took the lead on three minutes when Stephens broke a tackle on halfway and showed some good pace to be grounded five metres out. From the play-the-ball a long-floated pass from Gibson found Andy Badrock in the clear on the right and he touched down by the posts with Dan Abram converting. Haven forced a goal line drop out on ten minutes and three minutes later Abram added a penalty when Jack Stevens was fouled in front of the posts. More pressure on the line and the Lions forced three consecutive goal line dropouts and eventually the pressure told when Gibson threw another long pass this time left and Will Evans who tried to cut out the pass ended up doing a belly flop into large puddle as Jayden Hatton crossed for the try scoring his fiftieth point for the Lions as Abram added the conversion. Gibson then kicked a twenty-forty to put his side in a good position, but the Haven defence was good. Two sets on the Lions line five minutes from the break, the second from a controversial set re-start after a grubber had hit the stationary legs of a Lions defender, led to Haven getting on the board when Ryan King took a nice short pass from Jamie Doran to score by the posts and Jake Carter converted.

The home side started the second half like they left the first and forced the Lions into an error from the restart getting the ball back from their own kick off and they put pressure on the line, but some good defence held them out. The next try came to Haven on forty-seven minutes when King seemed to knock-on near the line and James Newton picked it up and touched down by the posts with the referee who was in a good position awarding it and Carter again converted. Abram stretched the Lions lead with another penalty for a high tackle in front of the posts. Haven forced a goal line drop out on fifty-seven minutes and they had good pressure on the line until Gibson collected a short kick to clear the line. Rio Corkill levelled the scores on sixty-eight minutes crossing on the left and Carter again converted to nudge his side into the lead for the first time. Time was running out fast for the Lions and in the final minute they were awarded a scrum just inside their own half. This turned out to be a little controversial as the Haven loose forward broke from the scrum before the ball entered it but he was not penalised and play was allowed to go on. In the very next tackle a Lions player seemed to lose the ball out on the far side and the Haven defence celebrated causing a melee which involved pushing and pulling and this ended with four players being sent to the sinbin as the clock was counting down with Josh Eaves and George Roby going for the Lions and King and Newton for the home side and the penalty awarded to Haven as the final hooter sounded. The big following of Lions fans faced the long journey home disappointed.

Abram, Chrimes, Badrock, Hatton, Williams, Stevens, Gibson, Wood, Eaves. Stephens, Rodden, Cox, Hall. SUBS: Roby, Spencer-Tonks, Vaughan, Fletcher.

Tries: Badrock (3), Hatton (21)
Goals: Abram 4/4

Referee: Brad Milligan
Penalties: 12-5
Half-time: 6-14


Sale FC
Primus Traffic Management
Glossop Caravans
Created by Rugby League World Cup England 2021
Camway Installations
Daisymill Technologies
Swinton Lions Supporters Trust