DONCASTER gave runaway Championship One leaders Swinton Lions a late scare before slumping to their third straight league defeat at the Keepmoat Stadium yesterday.
Swinton were quick out of the blocks and they broke the deadlock on six minutes when full-back Ian Mort showed fleet of foot to dance past the attentions of Ryan Steen and Mick Butterfield to touchdown in the corner.
The Lions were sniffing blood and it was no surprise when they extended their lead three minutes later when Martin Ainscough scurried from dummy half to burrow his way over from point-blank range.
The Lions were running riot at this stage and, following an incisive set of six, quick hands along the line involving Ainscough and Mort paved the way for Dale Cunliffe to notch their third score.
The Dons were looking for a foothold in the game and after the visitors conceded back-to-back penalties, a quick play of the ball enabled Chris Spurr to float a long pass to the unmarked Stu Sanderson, who made no mistake from close range.
However, Ian Watson controversially restored Swinton’s advantage with the Dons’ vainly appealing for a double-movement. But despite being second best for much of the first stanza, Doncaster went into the break in good heart following back-to-back scores.
Firstly, Craig Robinson’s delicate chip caused havoc in the visitors’ rearguard and Sanderson pounced to score with a minimum of fuss,
Swinton conceded a penalty shortly afterwards and the Dons punished them to the full when Kyle Kesik’s arrowed pass allowed Mike Emmett to force his way over from close range.
Following the interval, the home cause wasn’t helped when Adam Scott was sin-binned following a poor tackle and the Lions exploited their numerical advantage when Rob Foxen ran from deep inside his own half to score with a barnstorming try before a further score from Darren Hawkyard proved vital in the end for the visitors.
The Dons, however, refused to buckle and Craig Fawcett crossed the whitewash following a superb switch pass from Carl Hughes before Swinton’s hearts began to flutter when Spurr bulldozed his way over the line with three minutes remaining.
Carl Hughes then darted over with the last play of the game but the Dons were beaten by the clock as the Manchester-based side held to record seventh league victory despite a brave effort from Tony Miller’s men.
Dons: Butterfield, Colton, Steen, Spurr, Sanderson, Spaven, Fawcett, Scott, Hughes, Carbutt, Robinson, Crawley, Emmett. Subs: Kesik, Ely, Hughes, Wilson.