Swinton Lions 48 Sheffield Eagles 16: Aston's men close campaign with defeat
Sheffield Eagles ended the 2019 campaign with a defeat after going down 48-16 against Swinton Lions at Heywood Road.
Mark Aston’s side were fighting an uphill battle following a disappointing opening 20 minutes which saw the hosts open up a 20-point advantage.
In a season which has seen the Eagles take some major strides forward, this was a disappointing end following on from last weekend’s defeat at Bradford.
Swinton, who have applied to be renamed Manchester Lions from next season, looked determined to sign off this particular chapter in their history with a win. They were in front on eight minutes as Matty Ashton touched down a loose ball after Ryan Millar failed to gather a high kick to the corner, but Jack Hansen missed the extras.
Three minutes later a break from Richard Lepori was finished by Gavin Bennion for a converted try under the sticks.
The Eagles weren’t at the races as Ashton bagged his second try on 17 minutes after a quick break to the right, but Hansen missed the conversion.
Jack Wells was over next for a converted score after finding a chasm in the Eagles defence, as the hosts threatened to run riot.
The Eagles managed to stem the tide towards the back end of the half, but Aston’s side were still guilty of a raft of handling errors.
Oliver Davies thought he’d got the Eagles on the board 10 minutes before the break, but his try was chalked off for a forward pass by Anthony Thackeray in the build up.
On 36 minutes Thackeray’s high kick on the last was spilled by the Swinton defence, allowing Aaron Brown to touch down, and Pat Walker converted.
Swinton were in charge again after the interval as Ashton completed his hat-trick going over in front of the sticks, and Hansen added the two.
Ben Hellewell’s try gave Aston’s side some hope of a comeback following good work from Ben Blackmore and Josh Guzdek, but Walker couldn’t convert.
On the hour though Ashton went through the gears to land his fourth try, and soon after Hansen crossed and converted to extend the advantage further.
Corey Makelim’s converted try added some respectability for the Eagles, but the last word went to the hosts as the impressive Ashton nailed his fifth try late on, and Ben Morris added further gloss with a converted try at the death.
Swinton: Ashton; Butt, Hankinson, Mullen, Lepori; Hansen, Fairclough; Bennion, Brickhill, Hatton; Lloyd, Wells; Halton. Interchange: Gregson, Morris, Jones, Kenga.
Scorers: Tries: Ashton (8, 17, 44, 60, 77), Bennion (11), Wells (21), Hansen (65), Morris (80) Goals: Hansen 5/8, Ashton 1/1
Eagles: Guzdek; Millar, Yere, Hellewell, Blackmore; Walker, Thackeray; Dixon, G. Burns, Esslemont; Davies, Farrell; Brown. Interchange: Makelim, Thornton, Broadbent, Taylor.
Scorers: Tries: Brown (36), Hellewell (52), Makelim (68) Goals: Walker 2/3