Swinton Lions 30

Barrow Raiders 12

Swinton Lions pushed Barrow Raiders closer to League One as they made the most out of of controversial decision in their favour.

Despite not helping themselves on the penalty count, the Raiders were well in the contest at Heywood Road after a good fightback in the second half through tries by Tee Ritson and Luke Cresswell.

They even thought they’d drawn level when Ritson got on the end of Ben White’s kick at a time when Barrow had Jamie Dallimore in the sin bin, but the try was ruled out for offside.

Swinton eventually pulled clear after what looked a bad leg injury for Stargroth Amean forced them to finish the match a man light, after they’d made all their interchanges.

With fellow strugglers Dewsbury claiming a draw at Halifax and playing their game in hand against Rochdale next week, the escape from relegation is now going to have to be a truly great one from Paul Crarey’s side.

The first points of the game came from the boot of Dallimore, who slotted over a penalty from in front of the posts on 21 minutes.

Barrow’s lead did not last long, however, as the Lions claimed the opening try when Rob Fairclough quickly moved the ball on to Matty Ashton, who stepped past his would-be tackler to saunter in, with Jack Hansen converting.

A loose off-load from Wartovo Puara in his own half then led to the hosts scoring again as a lovely reverse pass put Fairclough in space and he time his ball inside to give Frankie Halton a comfortable finish.

Hansen soon extended the hosts’ lead to 14-2 with a penalty as the Raiders’ discipline continued to let them down and they had it all to do in the second half.

They made the perfect start to it, though, as they pulled back four points four minutes after the restart, as Ritson dived in at the corner after quick hands from Liam Paisley and Amean.

Dallimore’s conversion struck an upright, and he then had to sit out ten minutes after he was sent to the sin bin for tackling Richard Lepori without the ball when the Swinton man looked set to score off Samy Kibula’s kick ahead.

Within three minutes of him going off, the Lions had struck again as the ball was worked out left for Rhodri Lloyd to score in the corner.

However, while still a man down, Barrow hit back again, as White wriggled away during the last tackle, with the ball eventually finding Deon Cross, whose (suspiciously forward) pass sent Cresswell sprinting clear.

Then came Ritson’s disallowed try, but if that was a bad break Barrow had a lucky one when Hansen struck a straightforward penalty against the post.

He didn’t let them off the hook when the Raiders were pinged for obstruction with around ten minutes left and the visitors’ goose was effectively cooked when they had to finish with 12 men due to Amean’s injury.

Swinton made the most of the extra space with two tries in the closing stages as Mike Butt was given a walk-in down the left before Harry Smith went clear off Halton’s off-load

Swinton Lions: Ashton, Butt, Lloyd, Mullen, Lepori, Hansen, Fairclough, Bennion, Waterworth, Hatton, Halton, Wells, Jones.

Interchange: Brickhill, Gregson, Kibula, Smith.

Tries: Cross 44, Cresswell 54

Goals: Dallimore, White

Barrow Raiders: Cresswell, Ritson, Amean, Hulme, Cross, Dallimore, Charnock, Seguier, Puara, Susino, Paisley, Stack, Aspinwall.

Interchange: White, Walne, Walker, Duffy.

Tries: Ashton 24, Halton 29, Lloyd 50, Butt 73, Smith 78

Goals: Hansen (5)

Referee: Gareth Hewer

Attendance: 984

Raiders star man: Deon Cross