Rams make winning start to Shield tilt

Mitch Stringer looks to set up a Dewsbury Rams attack against Swinton last Sunday. Pictures: Paul Butterfield
Mitch Stringer looks to set up a Dewsbury Rams attack against Swinton last Sunday. Pictures: Paul Butterfield

Dewsbury Rams made a winning start in their quest for Kingstone Press Championship Shield glory last Sunday, defeating Swinton Lions 36-24.

The Rams raced into a 22-0 first half lead and were always in control, although a late Swinton fightback made the final scoreline look creditable.

It took Dewsbury just four minutes to storm into the lead when Andy Kain fed centre Paul Sykes and he sliced through the defence to score and then tagged on the first of his six goals.

Dewsbury repelled a spell of Lions pressure and after regaining possession, the Rams launched another attack.

Matt Groat raced through and looked to be speeding away for a long range try but the Lions defence recovered forcing him to kick and the chance was lost.

Dewsbury moved play wide and Sykes popped up to cross for his second try out wide and although the conversion was missed, the Rams led 10-0 inside the opening quarter.

A period of stalemate followed before Dewsbury again upped the ante in the final 10 minutes of the half.

Kain’s neat kick to the in goal area forced Swinton to drop out and from the resulting attack, Dale Morton went close to stretching the lead after another fine kick out wide.

A penalty put Dewsbury back on attack and Joel Farrell nipped over from close range, with Sykes again converting.

Dewsbury capped an impressive first half show with a superb fourth try.

Lucas Walshaw gathered possession and raced down the right, cut inside, leaving Lions defenders trailing before beating the final line of defence to score. Sykes tagged on the goal and the Rams were in control.

Swinton replied at the start of the second half when Ben White intercepted a stray Kain pass and sent Macauley Hallett racing over unopposed, with Chris Atkin converting.

Kain was back to his best soon after when his lovely one handed pass created a gap for Josh Guzdek to race through the defence and behind the posts to give Sykes a simple conversion.

Dewsbury again took play close and Dom Speakman was alert to scoot over for a sixth try and Sykes’ conversion left Rams fans wondering how many their side would rack up.

Swinton responded well and grabbed three tries in the final 12 minutes to reduce the deficit to 12 points.

Josh Barlow started the ball rolling with a 68th minute try, which Atkin improved.

Mike Butt was alert to pounce on a loose ball in the in-goal area before Rhodri Lloyd grabbed a last minute interception try and two further Atkin goals gave Swinton some respectability.