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Swinton shine again to take bite out of Bulldogs

Swinton Lions had a week off after their fantastic result at Halifax and it showed as they swept home 32-24 against in-form Batley Bulldogs.

This victory at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium was the first for Swinton in 16 years and Batley’s first home defeat this season.

Read: Swinton swoop to beat Halifax for first time in 35 years

The Lions got off to a great start when Stuart Littler sent Shaun Robinson in at the corner after penalty pressure from a James Brown high tackle.

Batley retorted by camping out on the Swinton line but a stray pass 10 metres out landed Littler’s hands, and he raced 70 metres up the slope but was caught by the chasing defence.

A Ben White kick forced a goal line drop out on 16 minutes and John Duffy’s side made Bulldogs pay when on the last tackle Atkin sent a kick towards the left corner and Liam Marshall raced past Wayne Reittie to score.

It got even better four minutes later when the outstanding Atkin sent Rhodri Lloyd racing though a gap and he drew full back Dave Scott before handing the ball to White who raced in for the try by the posts and again Atkin converted.

Bulldogs finally opened their account at the half-hour mark when Adam Gledhill crossed from close range by the posts and Dominic Brambani added the simple conversion.

Batley lost Reittie a couple of minutes from the break when he clashed heads with Atkin and the Batley winger had to be helped off by the doctor.

Vila Halafihi put the Lions further ahead in the opening minutes of the second half after Ben Austin had gone close but Batley hit back when Gledhill added his second try and Brambani again converted.

The Bulldogs got back to within six points on 55 minutes when Brambani sent Scott over for the try on the right but it was overshadowed by a piece of sheer magic from Atkin.

The Bulldogs were on the attack 10 metres inside the Lions half but when they lost the ball in the tackle the Lions’ legendary scrum half kicked downhill with his winger Marshall running at full tilt, the Wigan loanee controlling the ball with his foot quite superbly and it bounced up nicely into his hands and he dived in for the try in the left corner

The Bulldogs were really now up against it and Brambani kicked a great 40-20 on the hour but this was wasted when Shaun Ainscough was bundled into touch by the Lions defence.

They did grab their fourth six minutes later when a lovely pass from Brown sent Scott racing in for his second to the left of the posts and Brambani again converted to bring his side within four points.

Atkin closed out the game, sending Thornley through a gap on half way who raced down hill, and as Scott closed in for the tackle, offloaded to Fell who scored out on the left.

Swinton Lions : 22. Gabriel Fell, 2. Shaun Robinson, 3. Stuart Littler, 4. Macaulley Hallett, 18. Liam Marshall, 6. Ben White, 1. Chris Atkin, 8. Mike Morrison, 9. Anthony Nicholson, 13. Rob Lever, 23. Rhodri Lloyd, 11. Connor Dwyer, 12. Andy Thornley.
Subs: 27. Vila Halafihi, 19. Josh Barlow, NN. Zach Johnson, 16. Ben Austin

Referee: John Roberts


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