Hunslet travelled to the Shay in good spirit after back to back wins against Doncaster and Whitehaven. Sitting in 7th place on the league ladder the hawks knew that a win would likely see them overtake local rivals Dewburys Rams; things however didn’t go to plan.
Barry Eaton was forced into changing his winning side after Liam Welham, Stuart Kain and Paul Hughes all picked up injuries in the victory over Whitehaven. Mitch Achurch was also recalled by the Rhinos, meaning a return to the side for Dave March, Luke Haigh, Wayne Pryce and a full debut for Rhinos flyer Jamel Chisholm. The game started with Halifax having most of the field position, however strong Hawks defence kept Fax at bay until the 14th minute when smart build up play by Scott Murrell created a gap for Craig Ashall to force his way over, Lee Paterson adding the extra two to make it 6-0. The Hawks, to their credit, got back into the arm wrestle knowing that keeping Halifax’s big pack quiet was going to be the key to picking up some league points. Strong defence by both sides saw the score stay at 6-0 until the 35th minute when Sam Barlow crashed over under the sticks. The Hawks will have felt hard done by after the Ref missed a knock on in the lead up play. The missed call clearly had a big effect on the hawks as Fax scored straight from the kick off to make it 18-0 at half time.
The Hawks players will have been disappointed to be 3 scores down, however no doubt feeling confident that they could turn things around after the break. Halifax had different ideas though, scoring two quick tries immediately after the break to make it 26-0 after 44 minutes, which would surely seal the home win. Hunslet however weren’t going to lie down and gave themselves a big lift with Andy Yates crossing under the sticks after taking a short pass from Brad Singleton. A few minutes later and the Hawks fans were nearly cheering again, a chip over the top by captain Dave March saw Jimmy Keinhorst in the clear, excellent cover defence by Halifax fullback Ryan Fieldhouse and winger Lee Paterson stopped the German International from finding Hawks winger Wayne Pryce, who looked certain to score. Sadly for the Hawks, Halifax still had a couple of tries left in them, firstly Ryan Fieldhouse crossed for his second try on 77 minutes before Sam Barlow also crossed for his double on 80 minutes, Lee Paterson adding both conversions to make the final score 38-6.
Barry Eaton’s men will have left the ground disappointed with the final score, however there were plenty of positives aspects shown for large parts of the game.
Next week sees the Hawks face another tough challenge with current champions Sheffield Eagles visiting the South Leeds Stadium for a 3pm kick off on Sunday 24th March.
Hunslet RLFC Line up
1. Jimmy Watson
2. Tom Bush
Sponsored by: Heineken
3. Jimmy Keinhorst
Sponsored by: In memory of John Hodgson
4. Lee Brickwood
Sponsored by: Eric Simon
5. Jamel Chisholm
Sponsored by: A1 All Cars Ltd
6. Danny Grimshaw
7. Luke Helliwell
Sponsored by: Jewson, Leeds
8. Brad Singleton
Sponsored by: Available Call 0113 2712730
9. Liam Hood
Sponsored by: Colin & Kath Smith
10. Luke Menzies
Sponsored by: Fred & Jane Hopkins
11. Tommy Haughey
Sponsored by: Dawn Caley
12. John Oakes
Sponsored by: Leeds Bacon Company Ltd
13. David March
Sponsored by: A & R Construction
14. Waine Pryce
Sponsored by: Yorkshire Signs
15. Andrew Yates
Sponsored by: Village Urban Resorts South Leeds
16. Luke Haigh
Sponsored by: Elliott & Ewan Green
17. James Houston
Sponsored by: Stephen Bower Bespoke Joinery
01:04 Andrew Yates Try
01:05 David March Goal