SWINTON Lions edged out a youthful Wigan Warriors outfit 28-20 with some late scores plus some fine kicking from Chris Hankinson in their final friendly before the Championship season begins.

Swinton gradually took the ascendency from the start as Hayden Hansen bombed a good chance after Luke Waterworth was sprightly across the Wigan line, but it was a Josh Barlow offload to the Lions’ hooker diving through a crowd of players that opened the scoring.

George Tyson outmuscled the cover on the left and released Marcus Webb who sent over the supporting Matt Sarsfield.

Hankinson was proving a reliable kicker and the Lions would need that, as the Cherry and Whites fought back gallantly.

Mike Butt beat Joe Brown to a smart James Worthington grubber kick at the corner before following a tap, Jack Higginson sent in Liam Forsyth at the flag but Jake Shorrocks missed the extras.

Then Shorrocks released Morgan Smithies to score by the posts to tighten the game up to just two points at the break.

The second half opened up inauspiciously before tempers roused it once more and an incident on the touchline saw fists flying. Wigan’s Higginson and Swinton’s Sarsfield were invited to spend 20 minutes on the sidelines by referee Tom Grant.

Both teams embraced the open space, a bullet pass from Lewis Heckford sending in Worthington at the corner. At the other end, after Danny Ansell scooped up a loose pass, it was Hansen who unlocked the Warriors with a swerving dart at pace for the line.

With both teams back at full strength, another great effort from Davies saw him hauled down short but Samy Kibula barrelled over on the next play. Josh Woods took over kicking at the break and converted off the upright to hand the lead to Wigan.

The lack of goal points from the visitors over the course of the game kept the dogged Lions close behind and when Mark Nicholson crashed over, Hankinson again converted to hand control back to Swinton.

Fatally for the Warriors, an attempted short kick off almost blew back behind the halfway line. Swinton kicked the penalty for touch to get position, from which Tyson released Elliott Caine scooting for the corner to decide matters.