Late drama as Halifax slip to defeat at Swinton

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Halifax slipped to a dramatic 28-26 Championship Shield loss at Swinton in a seesaw contest that was only settled in the final seconds.

Richard Marshall’s side trailed 22-20 before a brilliant length of the field solo try from young centre Nick Rawsthorne, converted by Gareth Moore, looked to have given them a late 26-22 success.

But the Lions regained the ball from the kick off and levelled at 26-26 with a try from Macauley Hallett, half back Chris Atkin kicking the winning conversion from 10 metres in from touch.

Halifax had opened the scoring in a first half that was both long - 49 minutes including stoppages - and untidy when the winger Ben Heaton forced his way over in the corner before Swinton had even touched the ball.

Rawsthorne’s conversion went wide and the Lions levelled soon after when Atkin rounded off a passage of play started by an interception on half way.

Atkin then stretched the lead to 6-4 with a penalty and it became 12-4 when back row Connor Dwyer rumbled over from Atkin’s short pass, the half back adding the extras.

Swinton scored again when Macauley Hallett claimed an Atkin cross kick to set up a 16-4 lead, with Halifax struggling for any semblance of momentum as half time approached.

The visitors did throw themselves a lifeline when Will Sharp claimed Gareth Moore’s chip kick, Rawsthorne again missing the kick as the teams went to the break at 16-8.

The teams traded tries at the start of the second half, young forward Luke Nelmes charging over for Halifax and Moore cutting the deficit to 16-14 with the kick, before Atkin sparked a move that saw Dan Fleming touch down, Atkin making it 22-14 with the conversion.

Halifax replied with a spectacular catch and touchdown from Rawsthorne, Moore again closing the visitors to within two at 22-20.

Moore went close to scoring himself as the clock ticked down, before Rawsthorne intervened in spectacular fashion.

It was Hallett and Atkin who had the final word though.

Swinton: Butt; Robinson, Littler, Hallett, Marshall; Atkin, White; Emmitt, Waterworth, Hand, Dwyer, Thornley, Lever. Subs: Beharrell, Barlow, Austin, Fleming

Halifax: Woodburn-Hall; Heaton, Rawsthorne, Butler, Sharp; Johnston, G. Moore; Cahalane, Kaye, Ambler, Tangata, Fairbank, Murrell. Subs: Bennion, B. Moore, Boyle, Nelmes