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Swinton Lions lost 20-10 away to Batley Bulldogs on Sunday in the Betfred Championship despite Frankie Halton and Mitch Cox scoring second half tries in testing conditions.

On the back of their opening day 14-0 victory away to Whitehaven, Swinton would have been feeling confident of getting a result again at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium but Stuart Littler’s men were let down by a disappointing first half controlled largely by Batley.

Batley found themselves 8-0 up after 25 minutes, it was a quick and impressive start by the hosts as Jonny Campbell scored two tries.

Batley increased their advantage in the 27th minute as Dane Manning broke through Swinton’s defensive line to score and through Morton’s conversion, Batley were 14-0 up.

Just before the break things got worse for Swinton as Michael Ward from the front row added their fourth and what was to be their final try of the game.

In a physical first half which saw two Batley players sin binned, the Bulldogs were the stronger side and deservedly found themselves 20-0 ahead.

Image rights:
Neville Wright

The second half was a lot more encouraging for the Lions and they got themselves back in the game through a well worked try that Mitch Cox finished off but the conversion from Jack Hansen flew just wide of the posts.

Swinton continued to put pressure on Batley’s defensive line and 10 minutes later they added a second try through Frankie Halton after a free-flowing move.

Swinton’s full back Jack Hansen was also successful with his conversion, bringing Swinton to within 10 points of Batley but with only 6 minutes left to complete an unlikely comeback.

They did continue to put Batley on the back foot though and came close a few times to adding a third try but Batley’s back line held on and the game finished 20-10 in Batley’s favour.

Image rights:
Neville Wright

The result is a disappointing one for Swinton considering their encouraging pre-season and opening league game win away to Whitehaven but head coach Stuart Littler can take a lot of positives from a spirited and much livelier second half display.

Next up for the Lions is an intriguing encounter in the Coral Challenge Cup fourth-round as they host local side Leigh Miners Rangers on Saturday 2nd February, kick-off 3pm.

Image credit: Neville Wright

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