Eagles falter against roaring Lions
Sheffield Eagles ended their home campaign in the 2021 Betfred Championship with a 28-34 defeat at home to Swinton Lions.
A Joel Farrell brace was in vain as the Eagles surrendered another half-time advantage, as the already relegated Lions put together a clinical attacking performance in the second period.
Compounding the Eagles’ misery was a potential MCL injury to scrum-half Anthony Thackeray, which meant a shift to the halves for Aaron Brown alongside Izaac Farrell.
A quick-fire double for Swinton in the opening stages of the game put the Eagles on the back foot from the outset.
Luis Roberts and Nick Gregson both got on the scoresheet, with Martyn Ridyard converting one of the scores.
Tyler Dickinson responded as Sheffield posted their first points of the afternoon. The prop forward couldn’t be stopped from close range. Izaac added the extras.
Joel got his first of the afternoon as the half-hour mark approached. Izaac’s conversion gave the hosts the lead.
Rob Worrincy, in his final home game of his distinguished career, did what he has done for the last two decades - get over the whitewash.
He was given a cut-out ball from Josh Guzdek and did the rest with ease. Izaac hit the post with the conversion attempt.
Half-time - Sheffield Eagles 16-10 Swinton Lions
After the restart, debutant Olly Butterworth beat two men as he scored from 80 metres out. A great start to life in professional rugby league for the paratrooper. Izaac converted for a 12-point buffer.
Reece Hamlett’s try on 52 minutes stopped the Eagles in their tracks and following Ridyard’s conversion and Izaac kicking out on the full from the restart, the tide started to turn.
Mitch Cox’s converted try on the hour levelled the scores at 22-22 and there were two more tries left for Swinton in the game, as they wrapped up victory.
Geronimo Doyle and Lewis Hatton touched down before Joel’s consolation effort came with seconds remaining.
Full-time - Sheffield Eagles 28-34 Swinton Lions
By Dan Fowler, photo by Alex Coleman