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Swinton Lions 22-30 York Knights - Match Report

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York Knights staged the most remarkable of comebacks to beat Swinton Lions 30-22 at Heywood Road.

York trailed 22-0 with a dozen minutes remaining after a double from Andrew Badrock and tries from Jake Spedding and Jake Burns.

But after Jordan Gibson was sent off for Swinton, the Knights reeled off five converted tries in the space of just 12 minutes to somehow steal the points, with Josh Daley twice going over and Jesse Dee, Joe Brown and Franklin Pele also touching down.

The victory sees the Knights record back-to-back victories for the first time in 2024 ahead of next weekend’s return to the LNER Community Stadium against Widnes Vikings on Sunday (3pm). 

Swinton made a rapid start, scoring within the opening three minutes when Badrock hit a short ball from Dec Patton down the left flank.

On a dozen minutes, the same pair combined with a carbon copy play as Badrock again crossed the whitewash from Patton’s pass.

Dan Abram converted both tries and would end the afternoon with three goals from four attempts.

The Lions grabbed a third try on the quarter of an hour mark when a wide looping cut-out pass from Jordan Gibson found Tee Ritson, who sent a pass back inside for Spedding to ground.

York twice went close to registering their first points of the half when Jesse Dee went in at the left edge but AJ Towse’s pass in the air was ruled forward while Ukuma Ta’ai got within a couple of metres of the Lions tryline from a Davy Litten offload before some desperate Swinton defence stopped the front-rower.

The Knights’ bid to fight back into the contest was dealt a blow when Will Dagger was sin-binned for a professional foul on Jayden Hatton.

And, with the visitors down to 12 men, Swinton grabbed a fourth try before the break. A left-flank break was finished off by interchange Burns, leaving York 22-0 down at the interval.

Early in the second half, the visitors appeared an age away from staging a comeback.

But with 15 minutes to go, the complexion of the match turned on its head when Gibson was shown a straight red card for a shoulder charge on Will Dagger, who did not return.

Minutes later, Dee’s dance at the tryline before driving under the sticks saw York get on the scoreboard at last.

Taylor Pemberton added the conversion, his first of five goals from as many attempts.

In the next set, Daley darted out of dummy-half in signature style before the hooker somehow once again grounded the ball with a scoot from the play-the-ball and the comeback was well and truly on.

With four minutes left, a mazy break from Jordan Thompson allowed him to release Joe Brown, with Pemberton’s fourth goal nudging York in front for the first time.

The remarkable turnaround was capped off in the penultimate minute when Hull FC loanee Franklin Pele crashed over from Daley’s offload at the line.

Pandemonium from the away supporters began when the full-time hooter sounded to signal the capture of a famous two points.

Swinton: Abram, Ritson, Speeding, Hatton, Williams, Patton, Gibson, Green, Eaves, Spencer-Tonks, Badrock, Rodden, Hall

Subs (all used): Cooper, Case, Hammond, Burns

18th Player: Purcell

Tries: Badrock (3’, 12’), Spedding (15’), Burns (33’)

Goals: Abram (3/4)

Sent off: Gibson (66’)

York: Litten, Brown, Keinhorst, Bailey, Towse, Pemberton, HIngano, Ta’ai, Jubb, Santi, Dee, Severs, Thompson

Subs (all used): Dagger, Fitzsimmons, Daley, Pele

18th Player: Michael

Tries: Dee (68’), Daley (70’, 74’), Brown (76’), Pele (78’)

Goals: Pemberton (5/5)

Sin-bin: Dagger (30’)


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