Dewsbury Rams 38
Swinton Lions 44
By Andrew Hunt
a dramatic injury-time fightback was in vain as Dewsbury Rams bowed out of the Carnegie Challenge Cup to lively Championship One leaders Swinton last Sunday.
The Lions played some impressive attacking rugby which exposed the Rams’ defence and they built up a 44-28 lead going into the final minute.
A brawl erupted and once calm was restored referee Jamie Leahy sin-binned Dewsbury’s Pat Walker and Swinton duo Ian Watson and Dale Cunniffe.
Austin Bucnahan ghosted in for his second try, which Dominic Brambani converted, before Brambani jinked over three minutes into injury time.
Brambani rushed his conversion attempt and pulled it wide but six minutes into time added on, Elliot Cosgrove barged his way over. Dewsbury fans, who had stayed until the end, were convinced Cosgrove had scored but the referee ruled he was held up and the hooter sounded to Swinton’s relief.
Had the try been awarded, Brambani would have had the chance to send the tie into golden point extra time but in truth that would have been extremely harsh on a Swinton side who dominated for long spells.
Not even the loyalist of Lions fans could have predicted the start their side made as Swinton raced into an 18-0 lead and had two further tries disallowed in the first 16 minutes.
Martin Ainscough sent full-back Ian Mort racing behind the posts for a try which he converted and Ainscough’s one-handed pass found Mort who put winger Richard Flooks in at the corner. Mort then curled over a beauty of a conversion.
Mort cut through and raced to the posts but was pulled back for obstruction and the Rams had another let-off as Dean Thompson was judged to have lost the ball when a try looked on.
Swinton again opened Dewsbury up, this time on the right, for Gavin Dodd to race over in the corner and Mort tagged on the goal before Dewsbury finally woke up.
Pat Walker leaped above the defence to gather Brambani’s huge kick and touch down, with Brambani converting. Two minutes later a storming drive by James Walker took them close and Brambani burrowed under a cluster of defenders to score and convert.
Dewsbury added a third try in a seven-minute burst when Pat Walker intercepted a pass and offloaded to Buchanan, who outpaced the defence on a 75-yard run to the line. Brambani’s goal levelled matters at 18-18.
Swinton replied with a try from Tommy Gallagher and Mort goaled only for the impressive Rob Spicer to force his way over wide on the left and Brambani’s conversion made it 24-24 after a breathless half.
Brambani added two early second half penalties to edge Dewsbury ahead but veteran loose forward Phil Joseph responded by barging over wide out to level once more and Mort held his nerve to tag on the goal.
Mort added a penalty before Joseph drove over for his second try and Mort maintained his 100 per cent record with a seventh goal. Dewsbury fans stood in disbelief as hooker Mark Smith broke and sent Lee Wingield storming to the posts. Mort’s goal stretched the lead to 44-28.
Tempers boiled over in the final minute but although Dewsbury then managed to score two tries Swinton gained a deserved victory.
Dewsbury Rams: Turner; Wainwright, Cosgrove, Faal, Buchanan; P Walker, Brambani; Menzies, Blake, Hirst, Spicer, Lockwood, Tonks. Subs (all used): Horton, Emblem, J Walker, Broughton.
Swinton Lions: Mort; Foxen, Dodd, Thompson, Flooks; Watson, Ainscough, Morrison, Smith, Wingfield, Hawkyard, Cunniffe, Joseph. Subs (all used): Ashall, Holland, Wilson, Gallagher.
Referee: Jamie Leahy (Dewsbury).