NRC – Swinton 29 Oldham 20

Date published: Monday, February 21, 2011

ROUGHYEDS fought back valiantly in the second half against Swinton Lions at Salford, but they had left themselves too much to do after a disappointing first half and were beaten 29-20 in the pool stage of the Northern Rail Cup.

Lions led 20-6 at the interval after dominating the first period, but Roughyeds hit back to ‘win’ the second half 14-9, scoring three tries to two in the process.

Tony Benson’s boys were off to a flying start with an 11th minute opening try by Mark Brocklehurst, fashioned by fullback Marcus St Hilaire, which Mick Diveney converted beautifully off the touchline.

Marcus was called up for his first game of the season and he had a superb game at the back of a side that didn’t do itself any favours by showing a shortage of intensity in defence in the first half.

Foxen, Ainscough, Richie Hawkyard and Dodd scored tries in a ten-minute Swinton purple patch which gave the home side their substantial lead at half tinme.

Roughyeds needed to emerge for the second half with all guns blazing and they did that in a very creditable second-half performance, given what had gone on before.

Ben Wood was to terrorise the Lions defence while running strongly out wide on the right and he and Brocklehurst both had outstanding second-half performances as Roughyeds turned the game on its head.

John Gillam scored twice from Neil Roden kicks to the corner as Roughyeds pulled it back to 20-16. Darren Hawkyard and Brocklehurst (his second) traded tries for Oldham to remain strongly in the game at 24-20, but the Lions wrapped it up with a late drop goal by Dodd and then a last-minute try by the same player.

To complete the scoring Dodd and Diveney each finished with two conversions.

Swinton: R Hawkard; Foxen, Dodd, Thompson, Mort; Ainscough, Watson; Morrison, Smith, Wingfield, Cunniffe, Rigby, Joseph. Subs: Ashall, D Hawkyard, Holland,Fitzpatrick.

Oldham: St Hilaire; Onyango, Brocklehurst, Bradbury, Gillam; N Roden, Diveney; Boults, Clough, Sutton, Isherwood, Noone, Clarke. Subs: Whitmore, M Roden, Wood, Wood-Hulme.

Ref: Clint Sharrad; Att: 774.