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Swinton Lions 32 Whitehaven 26

The Lions made it five wins from five after a fantastic second half fightback secured the points against a Whitehaven side who had played some good rugby in the first half. Lions coach John Duffy praised his side for the fight back and also praised the fans who again made plenty of noise and encouraged their side to another great win.

James Coyle’s side only arrived at the ground about forty minutes before the start of the game but you would thought it was the Lions who were still on the bus as the Cumbrian side played some enterprising rugby in the first half and the home side had few answers.

Jessie Joe Parker opened the scoring in the third minute when he chased a short kick near the fine to touch down on the left and Louis Jouffret added a good conversion but the Lions hit back four minutes later when Stuart Littler broke free before laying off a pass for Ben White to score and Chris Atkin levelled the scores with his conversion.

For the next ten minutes both defences were testing each other out before Jouffret put his side back in the lead when he took a nice inside pass to score by the posts and he also added the conversion and then they went further behind a short time later when the Lions were on the attack near the Haven line and a wild pass was collected by Jordan Burns and he raced a full eighty metres to score in the left corner and again the conversion was added.

It got even worse for the home side with ten minutes to the break when Parker again chased another kick through and scored the try but this time the conversion was missed and then the Lions quickly hit back again when Macauley Hallett scored in the corner after good play by Gabriel Fell but the conversion to this was also missed and in the dying seconds of the half Haven went even further ahead when Parker fed Connor Holiday to score in the left corner but the conversion was also missed on this one as the half time hooter sounded.

Chris Taylor made a good break for Haven just after the break but lost the ball near the Lions line and then White went close for the home side as he lost the ball when trying to score by the posts.

The Lions third try came on fifty-one minutes when Atkin fed Fell and he raced away to tumble over the try line near the left corner and the try provider added the conversion. Two minutes later they were in again when White, Atkin and Fell all combined to send Hallett in for a stunning try and again Atkin converted to bring the Lions back to within four points of their visitors.

Haven then went close and James Newton was held up over the Lions line but from this the home side went back up field and added another try when a short kick over the try line was missed by a Haven defender and Rhodri Lloyd pounced on the loose ball to score right under the black dot and Atkin again converted to put them in the lead for the first time.

The visitors then had a try cancelled out by the officials when a player was judged offside from a kick though near the line and then Jouffret had a good chance but lost the ball near the line as it looked as if he would score.

The final try of the match came with four minutes left when the Lions were defending near their own line and Josh Barlow lost the ball in a one on one tackle which put Haven back on the attack but a wayward pass during the set of six was intercepted by Lions winger Liam Marshall just metres from his own line and he raced full length of the field to score in the left corner but Atkin could not convert this one and they held on to complete a memorable fightback. Haven coach James Coyle was very upset with his side’s second half performance and vowed to put it right next week against Featherstone.

Teams :
22 Gabriel Fell
2 Shaun Robinson
3 Stuart Littler
4 Macauley Hallett
18 Liam Marshall
6 Ben White
1 Chris Atkin
8 Mike Morrison
9 Anthony Nicholson
13 Rob Lever
11 Connor Dwyer
23 Rhodri Lloyd
12 Andy Thornley

Subs : (All Used)

7 Matty Beharrell
19 Josh Barlow
NN Andy Bracek
16 Ben Austin

Tries: White (7), Hallett (33, 53), Fell (51), Lloyd (60), Marshall (76)
Goals: Atkin 4/6

28 Ed Chamberlain
20 Jordan Burns
3 Chris Taylor
4 Jessie Joe Parker
16 Connor Holiday
1 Louis Jouffrett
7 Grant Gore
19 Glenn Riley
21 John Paul Brocklebank
8 Sam Brooks
11 Dave Allen
6 Dion Aiye
13 Liam Carberry

Subs (All Used)
9 James Newton
31 Ryan Duffy
27 Jay Chapelhow
26 Ted Chapelhow

Tries: Parker (3,29), Jouffrett (18), Burns (23),Holiday (40)
Goals: Jouffrett 3/5
Prog Score: 0-6,6- 6,6-12,6- 18,6-22,10- 22,10-26,16- 26,22-26,28- 26,32-26

Ref: Chris Kendall
Att: 711
Pens : 7-4
H-T: 10-26

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