Ainscough revels in utility role

Martin Ainscough has been the stand-out performer for Swinton Lions so far this season – despite the fact he has played in three different positions.

The former Blackpool, Rochdale, Leigh and Widnes utility back has played stand-off, fullback and centre so far and has looked comfortable in every position.

But the 25 year-old teacher from Wigan wants to nail down the stand-off position.

“I’m loving it here and I’m enjoying playing at stand-off because last year I was at centre,” said Ainscough who scored a try and gave another polished performance in Swinton’s 29-20 Northern Rail Cup game against Oldham.

“I like being more involved in the middle of the field and getting my hands on the ball and creating things for others.

“Hopefully I’m doing that and I just want to be consistent throughout the year and hold on to my shirt because there are a lot of people pushing for places in every position.

“There’s a lot competition so you have to be at the top of your game week in week out to hold on to your shirt which is hopefully what I’m doing.”

Lions coach Steve McCormack new exactly what he was getting with Ainscough after their time together at Widnes.

He said: “The beauty of having Martin is that he can play in several positions.

“He’s proved he can be an outstanding performer whether it’s fullback, stand-off or centre. He’s probably been our best player for the last four or five weeks.”

Ainscough was delighted to get the first win on the board after two impressive performances in defeats to top Championship sides Halifax and Leigh.

“We’ve worked hard over pre-season and it was just reward for all the hard work we’ve put in,” he said.

“It was a scrappy win but, as we said before the game, it wasn’t about performance it was about getting the result.

“We scored some great tries and we’ve worked on push in training and you could see from a few of the plays and from pushing we scored some great tries.

“There were too many dropped balls and the completion rate wasn’t the greatest but if we can pick up on those little things we can go really far.

“We all get on well off the field and we are starting to gel on the field as well.

“The combinations are starting to get going but there are still lots of things we need to work on and improve on.”

Swinton travel to Gateshead on Sunday for the final group game in the Northern Rail Cup.

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