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Eagles beaten in close contest against Swinton Lionesses

25/05/2022

Swinton Lionesses 36
Sheffield Eagles 22
Folly Lane ARLFC, Sunday 22nd May, 2pm

Their second league game of the year saw the Eagles facing Swinton Lionesses away at Folly Lane ARLFC. Set to be a tough game, Swinton - like the Eagles - were an undefeated team. 

The Eagles won the toss and chose to kick off to Swinton. After several sets from each side, it was clear that this would be a closely matched, physical game. 

Eventually, after 18 minutes, dummy half Agnes Wood caught the Lionesses off guard - breaking through their defensive line while in Swinton’s half. Wood’s speed was no match for the hosts as she scored right under the sticks. Stepping in as kicker in only her third game of rugby, Tori Thomas converted to add the extras.

In response, Swinton swiftly gained ground and pushed through into the Eagles’ half where their no.4 managed to score from dummy half.  No.20 added the extras. Just three minutes later, the Lionesses’ no.4 took advantage of a gap in the Eagles’ defence and broke through at half way to score under the sticks. Their no.20 converted again. 

Undeterred, the Eagles fought back. Beth Arnold made several strong carries, pushing the Eagles closer to the try line. Identifying space, dummy-half Isobel Stevens passed out to Simone Saunders who handed off a remaining defender and grounded the ball to the left of the sticks. The angle proved too wide to add the extras.

Swinton responded to the Eagles momentum, with their own big carries from their forwards. Their physicality exposed gaps in the Eagles defence and their no.20 scored under the sticks and successfully converted. Swinton kept the momentum, but the Eagles forced them to complete their sets. Unfortunately for the Eagles, a perfectly placed cross-field kick on the fifth from Swinton’s no.20 allowed their no.11 to step the remaining defender and score under the sticks.

This left the score at half time 24-10 to Swinton.

The second half began with Swinton kicking off to the Eagles. After an unfortunate knock-on by the Eagles, the Lionesses made the most of a scrum in the Eagles’ half and their no.7 broke through to score to the right of the sticks which was successfully converted by their no.20. 

The returning kick from Eagles saw Swinton knock on in their own half, Wood picked up the ball from the scrum, breaking the defensive line and dodging a defender to score. Unfortunately the conversion attempt went wide.  

Just three minutes later, an Eagles knock-on led to a scrum in Swinton’s half. The Eagles forwards chose this as the time to contest the scrum, pushing the Swinton forwards back and turning over the ball. From the turnover, Wood once again broke the Lionesses’ defensive line to ground the ball. Again, the angle proved too wide to add the conversion.

Swinton rallied and on the fifth their no.17 chased down the kick and scored a try. Their no.20 once again converted. 

Staying strong until the end, the Eagles responded by winning back the ball and rapidly gaining ground. 

Close to the try line, captain Pete Lendon pushed through and launched over the line but was unfortunately held up by the Swinton defence. 

After a series of knock-ons from both sides it looked like the game would end there, however the Eagles were determined to keep fighting until the end. 

Half-back Hannah Crowe identified a gap in the Lionesses’ defence out left and shipped the ball out to Charlotte Johnstone who scored a try on the left wing - ending what was a tough game on a high note for the Eagles.

Players of the Match

Coach’s player - Ellie Tiffin

Captain’s player - Chris Scullion

Vice Captain’s player - Charlotte Johnstone

Opposition’s player - Agnes Wood

Swinton Lionesses

Eve Ashcroft, Mia-Jayne Atherton, Patrycja Baranek, Isabel Birds, Chloe Birkett, Maddison Corrigan, Georgie Cunliffe, Holly Grimes, Emily Haley, Chloe Latham, Joanne Mullins, Abbie Parkes-Holden, Daisy-Mai Pearson, Rebecca Roden, Mollie Scotson, Catherine Sweeney, Ellie Thirkell

Tries: no. 4 (23,26), no.20 (36), no11 (44), no.7 (45), no.17 (73)

Goals: no.20 6/6

Sheffield Eagles

1 Ellie Tiffin, 2 Clara Reynolds, 3 Chris Scullion, 4 Claire Fisher, 5 Tori Thomas, 6 Hannah Crowe, 7 Sarah Palmer (VC), 8 Capucine Auger, 9 Agnes Wood, 10 Jessica Sayles, 11 Charlotte Johnstone, 12 Beth Arnold, 13 Pete Lendon (C), 14 Helen Teasdale, 16 Simone Saunders, 17 Isobel Stevens, 18 Chloe Askew, 22 Kennedy Nuttall, 25 Katie Miller

Tries: Agnes Wood (18, 47, 60), Simone Saunders (26), Charlotte Johnstone (87)

Goals: Tori Thomas 1/5

By Chris Scullion