by Ian Golden. Pic: Ian Lovell.
Swinton Lions were a kick and a fumble away from breaking three major club match records in Llanelli yesterday as they charged to a 96-0 win over West Wales Raiders.
They did break one – the victory was a record winning margin, beating a 94-0 win over Gateshead in 2010 whilst they equalled their most points in a game record – they beat Oxford 96-4 in 2015.
In addition, Dan Abram, who kicked 14 goals in the game, equalled Ian Mort’s record from that Oxford game. One of the kicks he missed was the last of his 17 attempts and the Lions also squandered a final minute attack as they failed to reach a century.
West Wales fielded eight debutants which included three South Wales developed players – Ben Jones, who has been playing for Valley Cougars in recent years, made a return to the professional game after playing for South Wales Scorpions in 2015-16. Fellow Wales Dragonhearts international Sam Pridgeon joins from Torfaen Tigers, whilst William Odgers is a former Cardiff Blue Dragons junior.
Swinton, who fielded no debutants at all, scored from their first set, winning possession after kicking off, forcing Raiders players into touch. Will Hope went over from the fourth tackle. Dan Abram converted.
Richard Lapore scored their second try on five minutes, going over in the corner. Max Roberts sprinted over 50 metres from kick-off for their third. Abram converted to make the score 16-0 in under eight minutes.
Luke Waterworth dived over for the fourth following a half-way line penalty, which Abram improved.
Welsh international Rhodri Lloyd quickly followed him over before Lapore scored a quick brace to complete his hat-trick. Abram converted the first two and Swinton were 38-0 up on 22 minutes.
Lewis Charnock dived over on 28 minutes for their eighth try with Abram converting before adding a try of his own which he again improved to bring up the half-century.
Mike Holden should have scored a consolation try after sprinting 80 metres after intercepting, but he hesitated when put under pressure when metres for the line and he lost possession.
A few minutes later, Ben Hayes did what Holden couldn’t and scored after a long run from an interception. Abram converted to put the score onto 56-0 at the break.
Mitch Cox was first over the line for Swinton in the second half, but that was ruled out for a double movement.
So it took a further seven minutes for Mike Butt, another of Swinton’s Welshmen, to score the visitors’ 11th of the game which Abram converted well.
Dean Meadows scored under the sticks from their next attack. Abram converting again.
Jack Hansen got Swinton’s 13th, this one under the sticks, with 15 minutes remaining. Abram easily goaled.
That was before Butt and Abram both ran over for their second tries of the afternoon. Abram converting both.
Max Roberts completed a length of the field move straight from kick-off with Abram converting, and the record winning margin came up on 77 minutes after Hansen picked up a chip kick and ran over.
Swinton had the chance for a century but, perhaps knowing that margin was on the line, looked like they panicked for the first time in the game and the chance to rewrite the record books further was gone.
GAMESTAR: Dan Abram, who kicked well throughout, scored two tries and equalled Swinton’s goalkicking record.
GAMEBREAKER: Kick-off. As soon as Raiders were bundled into touch after 10 seconds, every Welsh fan knew it was going to be a long afternoon.
1 Mike Holden
2 Sam Pridgeon
3 Louis Watson
4 Josh Frost
5 Dan Maiden
6 Ben Jones
7 Fergus Simpson
8 Sam Herron
9 Daf Phillips
10 Joe Burke
11 William Odgers
12 Craig Lewis
13 Callum Mulkeen
14 Harry Boots
15 Alan Pope
16 George Orriss
17 Dan Wilde
22 Ben Hayes
2 Mike Butt
4 Max Roberts
11 Rhodri Lloyd
5 Richard Lapore
1 Dan Abram
7 Jack Hansen
23 Jordan Case
9 Luke Waterworth
8 Will Hope
12 Mitch Cox
13 Nick Gregson
16 Louis Brogan
17 Jack Spencer
19 Jose Kenga
20 Deane Meadows
25 Lewis Charnock
Tries: Hope (2), Lapore (5, 18, 21), Roberts (7, 72), Waterworth (12), Lloyd (15), Charnock (28), Abram (32, 70) Hayes (38), Butt (49, 68), Meadows (53), Hansen (65, 77)
Goals: Abram 14/17
Referee: James Jones