Swinton Lions v Dewsbury Rams

Rugby Football League

National Championship

Sunday 16th July 2017

Kick Off 15.00 Actual 15.03

Swinton Lions 20 Dewsbury Rams 42,  attendance 1,002

@ Sale R.U.F.C.

Heywood Road

M33 3WB

£17 Admission

£3 Programme, 32 pages.

Swinton have been playing their home matches here at Sale R.U.F.C. since 2016. The stadium opened in 1905 and following the move of Swinton here, a new General Safety Certificate was required, resulting in the 5,400 capacity being reduced to the current 3,387.

This now takes the number of home venues I have seen Swinton play at to six, having previously seen them at Station Road (12.1.92), Gigg Lane, Bury FC (15.11.92), Edge Hall Road, Orrell RUFC (9.6.00), Moor Lane, Salford City FC (8.9.02) and Park Lane, Sedgley Park RUFC(1.2.04).

The game itself was a relegation battle, as second bottom hosted fourth bottom. Despite getting the first try, Swinton went in at the break 14-24 down. Dewsbury went over to increase their lead to 14-30, before Swinton converted a try of their own to stay in it at 20-30, but the comeback was short lived as Dewsbury added two more converted tries.

Dewsbury are now safe from the drop, and despite this defeat, Swinton could still overhaul third bottom Oldham, who are just one point above them, as they travel to bottom of the table Bradford Bulls in their final match.

Balti Sports v Portland United

Pre Season Friendly

Saturday 15th July 2017

Kick Off 15.00 Actual 14.50

Balti Sports 2 Portland United 7,  attendance 52

@ The Thomas Hardeye School, 3G Pitch

Queen’s Avenue

Dorchester

DT1 2ET

No admission or programme.

The early kick off this morning meant plenty of time to get to a second match, even allowing for very heavy holiday traffic on a fair bit of the A31.

Balti Sports finished last season as runner up in the Dorset Premier League. Portland United were champions of the Wessex League Premier Division, which is two levels higher.

Portland missed a penalty, which was well saved, then found themselves 1-0 down, but levelled at 1-1 just before the break. It was 1-4 after 70 minutes and despite a Balti goal on 76 minutes, Portland added another three goals for a resounding win.

Andover Town v Downton

Pre Season Friendly

Saturday 15th July 2017

Kick Off 11.00 Actual 11.01

Andover Town 4 Downton 1,  attendance 48

@ Sparsholt College

Westley Lane

Sparsholt

Winchester

SO21 2NF

No admission or programme.

This game, between two teams from the Wessex League, never looked like producing a goal, but after Andover (Premier Division, with Downtown in Division 1) scored after 52 minutes the game opened up and it was 3-1 just eight minutes later. The final goal came five minutes from time.

Dover Athletic Academy v Chipstead

Pre Season Friendly

Wednesday 12th July 2017

Kick Off 19.30 Actual 19.44

Dover Athletic Academy 7 Chipstead 0,  attendance 36

@ The Abbey Sports Centre, 3G Pitch

The Abbey School

London Road

Faversham

ME13 8RZ

No admission or programme.

Chipstead finished last season in third place in Division 1 West of the Kent County League. They simply had no answer to the pace of the Dover strikers and were 6-0 down at the break. It was a case of damage limitation in the second half, where they held out until the 82nd minute, but never looked like scoring one themselves.

Redhill v Farleigh Rovers

Pre Season Friendly

Tuesday 11th July 2017

Kick Off 19.15 Actual 19.09

Redhill 4 Farleigh Rovers 2,  attendance 12

@ Coulsdon Sixth Form College

Placehouse Lane

Coulsdon

CR5 1YA

No admission or programme.

A decent match between these two Combined Counties League teams. A slightly earlier than advertised kick off, but a sensible decision as the game was played in constant rain that got heavier as the game went on and the light was fading towards the end.

Farleigh ahead three minutes in, and despite being pegged back, they edged in front again just before the break to go in 1-2 up. Redhill converted a penalty ten minutes into the second half, before goals on 70 and 82 minutes gave them the win.

Millbridge v St. Blazey

Pre Season Friendly

Saturday 8th July 2017

Kick Off 13.00 Actual 12.58

Millbridge 0 St. Blazey 3,  attendance 30

@ Devenport High School for Boys, 3G Pitch

Paradise Road

Plymouth

PL1 5QP

No admission or programme.

This is the normal home venue of Millbridge, who play in the Premier Division of the Plymouth & West Devon League. The visitors play one step higher, in Division 1 West of the South West Peninsula League.

St. Blazey opened the scoring after 15 minutes, before adding two penalties on 69 and 79 minutes. Millbridge struck the bar twice when it was 0-2.