There’s something about a Salford v Swinton Match. It’s a special atmosphere, two clubs with so much history and many players have represented both sides.
The Lions of 2019 are lead by head coach Stuart Littler a huge fans favourite in his playing days at Salford. The Red Devil’s Ian Watson is a big hero with the Swinton faithful for obvious reasons.
With the new season just a matter of weeks away, today’s warm up match would definitely help shake off the ring rust and give both sides the opportunity to try combinations and new signings.
A new season means a new kit and Salford’s red and white hooped socks definitely caught the eye for the traditionalists!
A grey afternoon welcomed both teams at the kick off. A slight breeze but fairly mild for January. The pitch as ever in immaculate condition.
The Red Devils first attack sees them open the scoring. Jackson Hastings and Robert Lui linking up to put Junior Sau in from close range.
Salford doubled there lead in the 7th minute after Lui’s pin point grubber kick was pounced on by Hastings. Ed Chamberlain this time converting 10-0.
Niall Evalds raced over for Salford’s third try after a lovely pass from loose forward Mark Flanagan. Chamberlain with the conversion giving Salford a 16-0 lead after 15 minutes.
A mistake from Salford on the next set deep in there own half handed Swinton there first attacking opportunity. The Lions took full advantage, Mike Butt following up a teasing kick to score. Oscar Thomas converting superbly off the touch line 16-6.
Swinton’s Joy was short lived with Lui showing amazing strength to barge over with plenty of defenders in attendance. Chamberlain pulled his kick wide this time, 20-6.
Hastings and Lui continued to cause havoc for the Swinton defence but full credit to Stuart Littler’s men who held there nerve scrambling bravely.
Salford finally broke the visitors resistance six minutes from the break. Ed Chamberlain finished off a slick move to score. The winger converted his try 26-6.
On the very next set Hastings glided through to set up Sau for his second try.
Chamberlains kick off the touch line is pulled well wide in the breeze.
Salford lead 30-6 at half time.
The first action of the second half see a thrilling break from Lui and kris Welham. Swinton’s Lewis Hatton is sin binned for holding down. Salford make the extra man count with Greg Johnson squeezing in at the corner.
Flanagan then links with Evalds, the loose forward with another trade mark pass sends Niall away. Joey Lussick is on hand to finish the move with a fine try. Lussick Salford’s third kicker of the afternoon drags the kick wide.
Welham with a fine tip on pass sees Johnson grab his second try.
With 17 minutes remaining Connor Davies-Aspey replaced Robert Lui. The youngsters first involvement is to help assist another Salford try with the busy Lussick touching down again and converting. 48-6.
Mike Butt was sent to the sin bin for holding down Derrell Olpherts. A harsh decision after the Swinton winger had raced back producing a super try saving tackle.
Davies-Aspey had the crowd on there feet as he shot through a gap. Perhaps just passing a second to early as the Lions cover arrived. Moments later the dazzling 16 year old got his timing to perfection sending Olpherts over for the final try. Ian Watson was delighted with the short spell his foundation starlet played paying thanks to foundation head coach Danny Barton.
For Salford it’s a step up against the champions Wigan next Sunday.
Swinton Lions gave a good account of themselves against full time opposition. There supporters travelled in good numbers and were loud all afternoon.
Salford 52 Swinton 6