The Hawks faced more players from Hunslet in today’s fixture for Neil Lowe’s testimonial game; this was going to be a blast from the past as the field was filled with familiar faces in a legends team that consisted of previous players over the last 20 years.
The Hunslet legends were straight at it from the off trying to steal the ball from the Hawks at every opportunity, the boys didn’t let them get away with anything though and had points on the board just 5 minutes in as Chris Buttery on debut got the ball away to prop Yates who was clearly up for the challenge sprinting half the pitch to score his first in pre-season. The legends wanted to prove they were a force to be reckoned with and as Elliot Hodgson took the ball on the full, breezing his way past first line defenders he thought he was in for the try, but legends fullback Richard Baker soon stopped him in his tracks with a good old fashioned ankle tap. They had held the Hawks at bay for 10 minutes but the side took full advantage when they noticed that the defence had ‘slowed down’ in front of them. Showing off their handling skills with a combination of plays that led to the next try, Luke Helliwell in particular was running rings around the defenders before giving a sly ball out for Tommy Haughey to finish off. The Legends didn’t want to be out done of course the and the pack were producing some pretty big hits of their own with the likes of Steve Pryce running down centre field, the home side had their work cut out slowing him down. Another try was on its way after a ‘wayward’ kick from legend David Brook awarded Sam Bowring with the ball that he duly put down over the line boosting the Hawks into a 16-0 lead. Today’s game was definitely entertaining the crowds, as they cheered every time the legends created any sort of movement but it was a good atmosphere at the South Leeds for Lowes testimonial game and I’m sure all the players appreciated it. Barry Eaton entered the field for the legends and he was about to show his boys just how to do things, a neat cross field kick that almost led to Danny Mills squeezing across in the corner followed by a successful inside ball for John Lee Lockwood to come powering onto that gave the legends their only try of the game. The Hawks were soon to bounce back however with two quick tries in the 5 minutes before the break, Josh Nathaniel was next on the scoring list as he made his first pre season appearance, as well was Luke Teasdale with a confident scoot from the dummy half. Despite being 26-4 down the Hunslet legends kept fighting till the last minute of the first half with an attempted interception just coming free from the hands of George Rayner. The whistle blew and both teams headed to the break satisfied, (Although maybe the legends just needed 5 minutes to sit down?)
The second half was going to be an even bigger challenge for the players as they faced not one, not two but all four of our own coaching team! Mark Cass, Gary Lord & Jonny Wainhouse put there playing boots on and joined the legends. Callum Windley had been an important part of in attack today and ignorant of the challenge in front of him he managed to grab one of his own straight away, weaving in and out of defenders with ease he was fast becoming one of the halfbacks the Hawks fans would be watching out for this year! The legends tried everything to get back into the game though, attempting to score on every set with set plays and kicks to finish things off it was surprising they hadn’t got more points on the board, all credit had to be given to the Hawks defence though because the task had been difficult some of the players they were facing still had plenty of skills on show. One advantage the home side had was pace, and with Waine Pryce returning to the Hawks that was something they had plenty of, he sprinted towards the touchline but left it late before giving a perfectly timed ball to James Woods to put down and possibly seal the deal for the Hawks. Fullback Stuart Kain was back on the field though up to old tricks adding another 4 points to the tally to make it 54-4 as the final whistle blew.
Another win for the Hawks in what had been a brilliant game; it was positive to hear fans commenting on how much they had enjoyed watching the game and the spirit it had been played in. It was also brilliant to see so many familiar faces down at South Leeds once again. Thank you to all that took part in the legends side and we hope Neil Lowe enjoyed his testimonial game as much as the spectators did!
Well done to Barry and the Boys.