The last game of the season had finally arrived as we welcomed visitors from Halifax. Today’s game was definitely going to be a decider as to whether we continued on our journey next season in the Championship and I am sure that all the players would be playing their hearts out today not only for themselves but also for the fans.
The game got under way and Hunslet were straight in to it and managed to for the second week put the first points on the board. Danny Grimshaw started off on good terms tearing open the defence a perfectly timed late ball to Danny Ratcliffe and he was across! Jack hastily added the two with the conversion and play was back on. Today’s defence would have to be priority for the Hawks as Halifax are a side capable of scoring points and putting their opposition under a lot of pressure, but today Hunslet stepped up to the challenge Adam Sullivan and John Oakes ensured they kept Halifax safely away from their line. Tommy Haughey saw the next opportunity; a purposeful run and a slip pass allowed Danny Ratcliffe to slide over for his second, Latus added another 2 and the score was comfortable after 25 minutes at 12-0. Despite the brilliant play for the first half an hour, Fax’s James Haley grabbed hold of the ball and quickly tap restarted, his pace allowed him to race through to the line and score with barely a notice from the awaiting defence. Danny Jones added the two and they were back to within 6 points. The scoring continued though Hunslet now in attack, quality ball handling on the line created various spaces and eventually on the 5th, player/coach Paul March was more than happy to put the pall across the line. The last 5 minutes of the half went surprisingly all Hunslet’s way with a confident Latus converting two difficult penalties from the half way line. These four points would definitely be a boost going into the break and hopefully this success would continue right through until the final hooter!
The cheers from the Hawks in the stands proved just how much the win was needed in today’s game. Both sides came out determined, but it was the Fax who got off to a flying start in the form of centre Rob Worrincey whose pace and side step allowed him to tap down under the sticks, Danny Jones adding the two. Hunslet would have to be aware of the points creeping up behind them. The visitors were nearly over again 5 minutes later but forward Andy Yates stepped in at the last minute with a try saving tackle which I’m sure his fellow players were grateful for. By now the Hawks were eager to get another try of their own working their way down field it was David March who set up this one for himself after the forwards had done their work he jumped in at half back and dived over the line, Latus pushed the ball just wide this time. It was in the last 10 minutes the speed of a newly determined Halifax side saw them cross the line three times. Sam Barlow and Ryan Fieldhouse were keen to take advantage, a lack of defence out wide along with thoughtful play managed to steadily increase the points taking the game with them.
Despite the scoreline of 32-24 the Hawks had put up an admirable performance and showed their skill and love of the game. A brilliant game and a large vociferous crowd to round off an exciting season for everyone.
Well done to Paul and the boys on proving we are definitely worthy of our place in the Championship and for giving us a very entertaining 2011 season.
See you next season!