Knowles edges Eagles to narrow Lions win

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A drop goal from Michael Knowles proved the margin as Sheffield weathered a comeback by relegated Swinton.

Even then the visitors might have taken the points if Mick Nanyn had opted to go for goal when they were awarded a late penalty near half-way on the short Owlerton pitch.

There was plenty of attacking play with a hat-trick of tries each for Sheffield’s Etu Uaisele and Swinton’s Brad Dwyer.

Swinton just edged the first half as the teams swapped scores. Full-back Jordan Burke, who was on loan at Sheffield earlier in the season, scored the opening try with Nanyn kicking the first of five goals that take him to fifth place in the game’s all-time points scorers.

The Lions added scores from hooker Dwyer and stand-off Chris Atkins with centre Menzie Yere, full-back Quentin Laulu-Togagae and Uaisele replying for Sheffield who trailed 18-16 at half-time. The deficit was cleared after the restart with second tries from Laulu-Togagae and Uaisele with Brambani kicking his third goal.

Sheffield turned the screw as Uaisele completed his hat-trick with an interception on the half-way line. It seemed over but Dwyer with two tries put the game back in the melting pot.

The hooker weaved in from dummy half 30 metres out and then forced his way over to complete a hat-trick. In between Knowles put over the drop goal which was to prove a crucial “insurance policy”.

Sheffield: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Uaisele, Taulapapa; Briggs, Brambani; Battye, Henderson, Lillycrop, Green, Knowles, Straugheir. Substitutes: Tagaloa, Davey, Stringer, Garside.

Swinton: Burke; Walker, Barber, Nanyn, Penny; Atkin, Ainscough, Morrison, Dwyer, Riley, Bridge, Hawkyard, Brown. Substitutes: Menzies, Bennion, Peet, Hulme.

Referee: J Bloem (RFL).