Sheffield Eagles 38 Swinton 40: Winning run ends for crisis club Eagles

Duane Straugheir: Among the tries for Eagles
Duane Straugheir: Among the tries for Eagles

Sheffield Eagles were denied a fourth win on the spin in the final minute after Swinton produced a stirring fightback to claim a 38-40 victory at Bawtry Road.

The Eagles lead for much of a tight contest but three tries inside the final 10 minutes ended a difficult few days for Mark Aston’s side, following Friday’s announcement that the club faced possible extinction if a takeover isn’t successful within six weeks.

Chief Executive John Whaling confirmed pre-match that he had received more interest in the club from two parties over the weekend, but the Eagles’ players and staff face an anxious wait over the next month as they await news on their future.

Swinton were the hungrier of the two sides in the opening quarter and were in front following Liam Marshall’s try in the corner, which was converted by Chris Atkin.

The Eagles were on the board on 15 minutes when Stan Robin’s clever grubber kick into the in-goal area was touched down by Duane Straugheir, and Cory Aston added the extras.

An Atkin penalty nudged Swinton back into the lead, but Rob Worrincy’s try in the corner saw the hosts hit the front for the first time. Aston missed the conversion.

The Eagles put some daylight between the two sides when Robin danced his way through the Swinton defence for a brilliant individual score, which was converted by Aston.

Two minutes later Michael Knowles produced another terrific individual effort when he collected his own chip-and-chase for an easy run-in, and Aston added the two.

Connor Dwyer responded with a converted try before the interval to keep the visitors within reach, but at the start of the second half Ben Blackmore celebrated his return to the side with a try in the corner, but Aston missed a difficult conversion.

Swinton stayed in touch after Ben White was gifted a converted try after poor defending by the Eagles, then two minutes later Marshall bagged his second score, but Atkin missed the extras to level the scores.

Nathan Chappell’s try just past the hour mark calmed the nerves after a great break by Straugheir, and Aston’s successful kick gave the hosts an eight-point advantage.

Matty Fozard put Mark Aston’s side further in front when he squeezed over the whitewash from dummy half, with Aston converting.

Swinton refused to throw in the towel and Macauley Hallett’s converted try was added to when Marshall completed his hat-trick with four minutes remaining.

The comeback was completed when Atkin converted Stuart Littler’s try to give the visitors a last gasp victory.

Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Worrincy, Tyson, Chappell, Blackmore; Aston, Robin; Wheeldon, Carlile, Neal; James, Straugheir; Margalet. Interchange: Fozard, Knowles, Minchella, Mexico.

Scorers: Tries: Straugheir (15), Worrincy (23), Robin (31), Knowles (33), Blackmore (44), Chappell (62), Fozard (65) Goals: Aston 5/7

Swinton: Butt; Robinson, Littler, Hallett, Marshall; White, Atkin; Emmitt, Waterworth, Bracek; Dwyer, Thornley; Lever. Interchange: Beharrell, Barlow, Hand, Fleming.

Scorers: Tries: Marshall (4, 57, 76), Dwyer (37), White (55), Hallett (70), Littler (79) Goals: Atkin 6/8

Referee: Tom Grant

Attendance: 466