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Swinton Lions 16 Bradford Bulls 48

Lions continue to improve

Bulls coach James Lowes saw his side win again but called for improvements from them having been put to the sword a few times during the match. “ Swinton played some good stuff and they will be a force in this league but we let ourselves down a little today with some forced errors which we won’t get away with against some teams so we have some work to do , when they scored to increased their energy levels”. We were never going to lose but you need to be switched on all the time.

Bradford Bulls may still be undefeated but they were given a stern test by a gritty Lions side that never gave up and with a bit more luck could have had more points on the board.

Bulls took an early lead when Tom Olbison latched onto a Lee Gaskell pass to score and Danny Addy added the conversion points and the soon after Oscar Thomas raced down the right and looked a certain scorer but for an excellent last ditch tackle by Mike Butt. Both defences were working overtime in the first quarter of the match and there was little between the sides and Adrian Purtell and Gaskell both had good chances but the Lions defence scrambled well but it was eventually breached on seventeen minutes when Kris Welham scored in the right corner from an overlap but Addy could not convert from the touchline.

Adam Sidlow thought he was away for the third try three minutes later but was brought back for a forward pass on halfway but Welham added his second try in the twenty-sixth minute when he finished off a nice passing movement on the right and Addy converted this one. The Lions were starting to turn the screw on the Bulls defence and substitute Josh Barlow scored by the posts with his first touch of the ball after Liam Hood had gone close and Chris Atkin added the simple conversion.

There was more Lions pressure on the Bulls line six minutes from the break when Ben White went close after chasing his own kick and Oscar Thomas forced it dead in goal for the goal line drop out which put the Lions back on the attack but this finished for them with the wrong result when Omari Caro intercepted a pass and raced full length of the field to score under the posts at the other end with Addy again converted and the visitors finished the half with what the Lions would have called a soft try when Rhys Lovegrove was grounded just short near the corner and from the play the ball it was flicked left for James Clare to score unopposed in the corner but Addy could not convert as the half time hooter sounded.

Bulls were straight back on the attack in the opening minute of the second half thanks to a penalty against the Lions for obstruction and within a few minutes the lead was increased when the impressive Gaskell set up the next try for Matty Blythe who scored on the right and Addy converted again. The referee Chris Kendall put the Lions on a team warning on forty-seven minutes and it was the Bulls who again went further ahead the Welham competed his hat trick after another good passing movement and Addy again added the conversion.

The Lions were not giving up and Rhodri Lloyd went close on fifty-eight minutes and the play the ball moved swiftly to the right and Shaun Robinson crossed in the corner and Atkin added a super conversion from the touchline and five minutes later they were over again when Macauley Hallett and Hood combined down the left near the corner to send Greg Scott over by the corner flag but this time Atkin was just off target but the home side were playing some good stuff which the noisy Lions fans acknowledged and in fact there was some good banter between both sets of fans.

Olbison added his second try on the left in the sixty-eighth minute after another good passing movement and again Addy converted it. Atkin then had a Lions try disallowed when he thought he had scored on the left but the play was brought back to near half way and the scrum given to the Bulls for a knock down of the ball in the build-up.

The Lions were given yet another team warning eight minutes from time as the officials patience was running out and Connor Dwyer was sent to the sin bin for holding down too long in the tackle and Gaskell capped a fine performance when he scored the final try five minutes from time when he scored on the left but this went un converted. Lion’s coach John Duffy was unhappy with certain areas of his sides play in the first half and spoke to them about it at the break and it was better in the second half. “Once again we kept up our intensity throughout the game and we are improving week by week”.


20 Mike Butt
2 Shaun Robinson
23 Rhodri Lloyd
4 Macauley Hallett
5 Greg Scott
6 Ben White
1 Chris Atkin
8 Mike Morrison
27 Liam Hood
26 Carl Forster
12 Andy Thornley
11 Connor Dwyer
13 Rob Lever
Subs (All Used)
17 Stephen Nash
10 Jordan Hand
19 Josh Barlow
10 Ben Austin

Tries: Barlow (30), Robinson (58), Scott (63)
Goals: Atkin 2/3

Sin Bin (72) Dwyer holding down

31 Oscar Thomas
22 James Clare
3 Adrian Purtell
4 Kris Welham
2 Omari Caro
6 Lee Gaskell
13 Danny Addy
10 Adam Sidlow
9 Adam O’Brien
11 Tom Olbison
12 Dale Ferguson
23 Alex Mellor
14 Jay Pitts
Subs (All Used)
15 Matty Blythe
35 Rhys Lovegrove
20 Mitch Clark
30 Joe Lumb

Tries: Olbison (3, 68), Welham (17,26,55), Caro (34), Clare (39),
Blythe (44), Gaskell (75)
Goals : Addy 6/9

Ref: Chris Kendall
Att: 900
Pens: 11-15
H-T: 6-26

Prog: 0-6,0-10,0-16,6-16,6-22,6-26,6-32,6-38,12-38,16-38,16-44,16-48

Men of Match
Lions: Liam Hood
Bulls: Lee Gaskell

Gamestar: Lee Gaskell – The in-form standoff was at the hub of everything the Bulls did and created quite a few of their tries and scored the final one.

Gamebreaker – The Bulls first half performance gave them breathing space and they took nearly all their chances.

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