Championship: Agony for Rams but Bulldogs hit top form

Dewsbury try scorer James Glover.
Dewsbury try scorer James Glover.
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A try three minutes from full-time condemned Dewsbury Rams to a heartbreaking 8-6 defeat at home to Swinton Lions in the Kingstone Press Championship.

The game was played out in dreadful conditions with thick mud leaving players from both sides unidentifiable and it meant scoring chances were at a premium.

Swinton led 2-0 at half-time following a Chris Atkin long-range penalty but James Glover’s 54th minute try, followed by a Paul Sykes penalty, looked to have put the Rams on course for a first win of the season.

Swinton bombed a chance to draw level when they knocked on in the act of scoring and the Rams defence thwarted further Lions attempts to reply.

But in a dramatic finale, Swinton were awarded a 77th minute scrum just inside the Rams half.

Atkin kicked behind the Rams defence and the ball stuck in the mud. Liam Forsyth hacked it on and won the race to dive over the line and level matters.

Atkin’s relatively simple conversion was anything but a formality as he had to kick out of thick mud but delicately chipped it over the crossbar and the Lions held out to win.

Atkin’s 17th minute penalty from 40 metres put the Lions ahead.

A lovely pass by Dominic Speakman looked to have sent Aaron Brown storming to the opposition line but he was hauled down inches short and was unable to twist over the try line.

Atkin was off-target with a second long-range penalty attempt but the Lions led 2-0 at half-time.

Dewsbury hit back after the break as they were twice held close to the line before Glover burrowed over to score.

Sykes was unable to convert but he kicked a penalty from Dewsbury’s next attack as the Rams led 6-2.

Swinton bombed a glorious chance when they knocked on in the act of scoring and Dewsbury’s defence appeared to be holding out until three minutes from time when Forsyth grabbed a crucial try and Atkin’s conversion sparked celebrations among the Lions players and travelling support.

Dewsbury Rams: Sykes; Potts, Barnes, Crookes, Morton; Speakman, Kain; Sheriffe, Ward, Stringer, Walshaw, Hale, Brown. Subs: Glover, Teanby, Tonks, T Adamson.

Swinton Lions: Murphy; Robinson, Hankinson, Forsyth, T Davies; Gore, Atkin; Bracek, Kenny, Hand, Dwyer, Sarsfield, Thornley. Subs: Lever, Bate, O Davies, Austin.

Referee: C Straw.

Attendance: 802.

l Halifax suffered a second successive Championship loss as Batley dominated every aspect of a 24-6 success at Mount Pleasant.

Matt Diskin’s side, thrashed last week in Toulouse, were physically and tactically too good for Richard Marshall’s team, who consistently undermined their cause with a string of penalties and errors on a thoroughly miserable afternoon.

Neil Kelly.

Dewsbury Rams: Neil Kelly keeps Rams’ feet on ground