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Eagles beat Lions to get back to winning ways

12/07/2021

Sheffield Eagles returned to winning ways on Sunday, with Mark Aston’s side coming out 22-30 victors over Swinton Lions at Heywood Road.

Eagles chief Mark Aston recalled Josh Guzdek to his team along with Ryan Johnson and Scott Wheeldon following last weekend’s draw against Dewsbury.

The hosts opened the scoring after six minutes in Sale, as back-to-back penalties took Swinton up the pitch. Rhodri Lloyd went over on the right edge, his score was left unconverted after Ridyard’s kick.

Sheffield replied and took the lead eight minutes later through Ryan Millar. Expansive play set the winger away before he stepped inside Lions full-back Jack Hansen. Izaac Farrell converted to edge the visitors in front.

After an error from the Swinton kickoff, the hosts regained their lead thanks to Lions debutant Owen Buckley. Ridyard converted.

The Eagles entered a frustrating period after Swinton went in front, over-complicating their work with offloads and passes which went to ground but Aston’s side led at the break thanks to two scores from Olly Davies.

The former Lion showed his pace to burst through a gap in the Swinton defence before touching down for his first. Farrell converted that score, which was added to again by Davies as half-time approached.  

The back-rower was in support of an Anthony Thackeray break to stretch the Eagles’ lead to eight points at the interval.

HALF-TIME: SWINTON LIONS 10-18 SHEFFIELD EAGLES

Sheffield were the first scorers of the second half courtesy of Ryan Millar adding his second try of the match.

Farrell’s pinpoint kick bounced nicely for Millar on the left wing who was on hand to ground the ball. The stand-off couldn’t convert from the tee but soon added an extra two from a penalty to give Sheffield a three-score lead on the hour.

With less than 15 minutes remaining, Millar completed his hat-trick in style. Returning full-back Guzdek found the winger with a cut-out ball before Millar danced around his opposite number. Farrell converted for the last points of the contest from an Eagles perspective.

Swinton replied late on with a perfectly-timed cut-out pass of their own. Ben Heyes touched down for Stuart Littler’s side with eight minutes left.

The win came home with the Eagles despite a late try from Hansen, who benefited from some off-the-cuff rugby league.

FULL-TIME: SWINTON LIONS 22-30 SHEFFIELD EAGLES

By Lewis Coleman, photo by Alex Coleman