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Swinton’s cup run continues with Cougars de-fanged

Swinton Lions claimed their spot in the semi-final of the League One Cup with a hard fought 24-22 victory over Keighley Cougars.
The Lions had the first attack in the fifth minute but Chris Atkin knocked on ten metres from the home line and then Cougars had a chance when Danny Jones went close only to be stopped by Shaun Robinson but they forced a goal line drop out.From the kick Cougars put pressure on the line and the ball was spun left and Rikki Sheriffe went through to score the opening try with Jones adding the conversion.

The Cougars had more chances in the first half but great tackling from the Lions added to their frustration.

Robinson almost scored the Lions first try in the 17th minute when he raced down the right wing only to be knocked into touch five metres from the try line.

Grant Beecham did get the Lions on the scoreboard in the 23rd minute when he won the race under the posts to touchdown a Ben White grubber kick and Atkin made no mistake from in front of the posts.

Ten minutes later they were in again when Tommy Gallagher and Aaron Lloyd combined to send White over for a try under the posts and again Atkin converted to give the Lions the lead.

The Cougars tried hard to get back on level terms before the break but again the Lions defence stood solid.

Atkin increased the Lions lead four minutes into the second half when he collected a pass from Gallagher on the left and raced up the wing evading tackles to score in the corner and he also added the conversion.

Cougars came back strongly and put intense pressure on the Lions line twice forcing goal line drop outs but the defence again held up well.

Scott Law added the next Cougars try in the 56th minute after the Lions had been penalised for diving at peoples legs in the tackle and the veteran prop went over from close range with Jones adding the kick to bring them within six points.

Jimmy Rowland and Robinson both had chances for the Lions before Stuart Littler crossed in the right corner in the sixty-third minute but Atkins conversion attempt fell wide.

Cougars came back again five minutes later when Paul Handforth broke the defence to send Brendon Rawlins away for a race downhill to score under the posts and again Jones converted to put them within one score.

And five minutes later the scores were level when Rawlins made the break this time for Jesse Sheriffe to score by the posts and Jones made no mistake from in front.

The Lions were on the attack in front of the posts in the Cougars ten metre area with just three minutes left and a careless tackle by a Cougars player took a Lions player round the head and referee Dave Merrick had to give the penalty to which Atkin under pressure added to put the Lions ahead.

Cougars went short with the restart but the Lions soon got the ball back and again another high shot went in on the half way line as the hooter sounded and the penalty awarded to the Lions.

They elected to play the ball and Mike Morrison dropped the first pass giving the ball back to the Cougars but they elected to kick it down field and Chris Rothwell collected the ball and kicked it dead to finish the game.

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