SWINTON Lions closed the gap on 10th-placed Dewsbury Rams with a narrow 29-28 victory over their visitors in the Championship at Heywood Road on Sunday.

Lions centre Chris Hankinson was nearly the hero and the villain – his drop goal was the difference between the sides but his sending off could have ultimately cost Swinton a game that was excruciating as it was thrilling, for both sets of spectators.

Consequently, the Lions are now within a point of the Rams and safety in the league table.

It started differently, though, with Dewsbury rocketing into a confident early lead, tries from Aaron Brown, Lucas Wilshaw and Dale Morton plus two goals from Paul Sykes, compared to just a George Tyson individual effort, converted by Hankinson for Swinton.

Gabe Fell added another try before the interval but it was the sin-binning of Daniel Igbinedion for Dewsbury which turned a seesaw game in Swinton's favour.

Josh Ganson, Rhodri Lloyd and Tyson again all crossed for Swinton with the Rams numbering 12, Hankinson converting all of them and a drop goal for the Lions to lead by 13 points but they soon lost Hankinson for a spear tackle.

Gareth Potts, Igbinedion and Morton then all crossed but Sykes could not kick any and the Rams were unable to score an equalising drop goal.