Sheffield 35 Swinton 10: Worrincy flies away in style as Eagles take off in final

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The Independent Online

Rob Worrincy said farewell to rugby league with a two-try salvo as Sheffield Eagles' victory in the National League Two play-off final at Warrington took them into National League One for the first time since Mark Aston, who is now the chief executive, re-formed the club in 1999.

Worrincy, a 22-year-old Londoner, marked his final Eagles game before taking up a two-year contract with the Doncaster Knights rugby union side in style. The influential half-backs, Gavin Brown and Brendon Lindsay, and the full-back Johnny Woodcock, who lifted the Tom Bergin Trophy as the man of the match, were other Eagles stand-outs as Swinton's brave effort in battling through three dramatic play-off games caught up with them.

Worrincy broke a tense deadlock by opening the scoring in the left-hand corner in the 21st minute, completing a flowing crossfield move from a scrum. The bravery of Swinton's full-back, Wayne English, had prevented the Eagles from breaking through until then, notably when he knocked the ball from James Ford's clutches as he dived for the line.

Swinton levelled when their winger Andy Saywell grabbed his 26th try of the season, capitalising on hesitancy by Worrincy after Liam McGovern had drilled a kick into the in-goal area.

But two tries in the final two minutes of the first half established Eagles' command. For the first, Brown's clever inside pass sent Lindsay over by the posts. The latter, a talented Australian stand-off signed from Ipswich Jets, went into the game as the only Eagles player to have signed up for next season. Woodcock then robbed Saywell of the ball as he attempted to clear his lines following a deep Lindsay kick, and romped over for a killer try.

Any hopes of a Lions revival ended when Worrincy collected a McGovern kick on his own line and sprinted away for a glorious length-of-the-field try three minutes after the restart.

The centre Jimmy Walker, one of six former Hull KR players in the Eagles' ranks, added to the tally by diving on a Brown kick and the former Great Britain international Andy Hay added to the victory march by dummying his way over on the left. Dave Alstead scored for the Lions before Brown's drop goal rounded off the Eagles' 13th successive win.

The Eagles will join the champions, Dewsbury, in National League One next year, replacing York and Oldham. Swinton's first priority will be to build on the impetus provided by their first final appearance since losing to Sheffield in the 1989 Second Division Premiership Final.

Sheffield: Woodcock; Worrincy, Ford, Walker, Hurst; Lindsay, Brown; Howieson, Pickering, Stringer, Hay, Holdstock, A Smith. Substitutes used: Poucher, Ostler, Dickinson, Sovatabua.

Swinton: English; Saywell, Woods, Alstead, Billy; Moana, Hough; Johnson, Wood, Newton, K Smith, Sinfield, Marsh. Substitutes used: McGovern, Morley, Aboushakra, Parry.

Referee: P Taberner (Wigan).

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