Halifax 35-38 Swinton Lions

A shock at The Shay as Swinton Lions got one over on West Yorkshire outfit Halifax. The hosts were well tipped to win the match but John Duffy’s Lions roared to an impressive victory thanks to a last minute try from Liam Marshall, which was his fourth of the tie.

Halifax were 16-0 up after ten minutes courtesy of tries from Miles Greenwood, Sam Smeaton and Jack Eccleston. The hosts were off to a blistering start but Swinton did peg them back a few minutes after Eccleston’s try as Marshall registered his first score of the clash. Then, just moments after his first try, the Swinton winger doubled his tally. Chris Atkin converted one out of the two tries and the Lions were back to within six points of their opponents. Two tries in quick succession by Fax had them in a great position. Brandon Moore and Greenwood were the try-scorers and, all of a sudden, the hosts had a three score lead at 28-10. However, the Lions weren’t going away anytime soon and five minutes before the break came a try for Josh Barlow. Atkin was successful from the tee and the half-time score read 28-16.

Two tries in the opening eight minutes of the second half brought Swinton into close contact with their Yorkshire counterparts. Marshall completed his hat-trick before Atkin crossed for an interception try. Neither try was successfully converted so Fax were still four points up. An important try for the hosts came just after the hour mark had passed. Ben Kaye sniped over from dummy-half and a conversion from Tyrer put Halifax 34-24 to the good. It took a minute for Swinton to respond with a score of their own from Macauley Hallett. Atkin, once again, couldn’t convert. With seven minutes to go, Shaun Robinson capitalised on a massive error from the Fax defence and the visitors were now in need of an Atkin conversion to tie the game. In the big moment, the goal-kicker kept calm and slotted the ball over for two points. The roller-coaster match – 34-34 after 74 minutes – continued into the dying embers and a Gareth Moore drop goal looked to have sealed the win for Fax. But the Lions were far from tamed and it was quite fitting that the winning try came from Marshall, who has had an impressive few weeks for Swinton. Atkin was unsuccessful with his conversion attempt but that didn’t matter one iota to the visiting players, or fans, as they celebrated a great win.

Prediction – Halifax by 16

Result – Swinton by 3 

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