Hunslet RLFC v York City Knights

09/03/2014 - 3:00 pm
South Leeds Stadium


The contest featured both relegated teams from last year, so today would be one of the biggest challenges of this season. The Hawks hoped to continue their form against the Knights, beating them twice last season but after a terrible first half the Hawks just missed out on the win in a 26-28 defeat at the South Leeds Stadium.

Just two changes to Barry Eaton’s winning squad from last week as injured Lee Brickwood was replaced by Aston Wilson and Danny Grimshaw came in at the expense of Danny Ansell. Perfect playing conditions when the game got underway; a chip over the top of Lee Mapals and straight into the hands of Greg Minikin was enough to earn York the first try. Great play from the visitors and it was the points that would set the tone of the first half. The City Knights kicking game was destroying the Hawks as a grubber through the legs of the waiting defenders bounced nicely for Ed Smith, who carried it over the line on 15 minutes The impeccable defence displayed by the Hawks last week was only visible in patches this afternoon although there was some good initial hit ups from Coyle and Oakes this went to waste as the visitors made all the yards they needed later on in the next set. York had obviously recruited well in the off season with their outside backs looking very strong in particular and Jake Webster causing all sorts of problems playing on dual reg. Any pressure that Hunslet faced they seemed to break under it, failing to cover the ball and a successful offload to Pat Smith which saw him across the whitewash on 20 minutes. When Barry’s side did get anywhere near the line continuous mistakes minimised the opportunities they had to score. March was almost across with a darting run from dummy half but he was held up and a knock on in the play that followed meant the Hawks remained on the back foot. It almost seemed inevitable that when the ball was spilt in centre field the City Knights would kick it into perfect position for Johnny Presley to touch it down. In the 10 minutes that remained of the first half the home side managed to turn the game on its head. A spiralling pass out too Aston Wilson put him across in the corner. A quick restart and Hunslet’s sudden change in pace flustered the visitors and Ben Reynolds was sent to the side-line with a yellow card for a professional foul. The Hawks were eager to make the most of the one man advantage. Super League signing Liam Hood was on the field and a brilliant attacking kick bounced straight into his hands and he dived over on the half time hooter.18-8 was better than could have been expected.

An embarrassing try scored in the opening minutes as the Hawks gifted York the points, they tapped to play on their own line but when Mapals couldn’t take in the ball, Lee Paterson was willing to and went on to score under the posts. The home side did extremely well to recover from the bad start they had suffered and when Mapals was denied a try, though it looked to be over the line from the stands, it had got the ball rolling. They went on to dominate the half, Liam Hood scoring once again catching the Knights asleep he burrowed over in good position for Ballard to land the kick. A lucky try for York City Knights Ben Dent momentarily pushed the bonus point away from Hunslet but man of the match Aston Wilson grabbed his second try shortly after, reaching out as defenders clung to him he had impressed in his first league game of the year. Andy Ballard crossed with ease in the far left corner on the receiving end of a Grimshaw pass, and then converted his own. Just 2 points behind as the hooter blew it was the reality that if there had been more time left there was potential to change the score line.

The damage had already been done and the Hawks had come away with just a point from the difficult round 2 fixture. Plenty to improve on before the challenge cup game at the South Leeds Stadium next week and hopefully back to winning ways.

Hunslet RLFC Line up
1. Stuart Kain
Sponsored by: Beth Hampshire
2. Lee Mapals
Sponsored by: Leeds Bacon Company Ltd
3. Aston Wilson
4. Danny Maun
Sponsored by: Norty Forty
5. Andrew Ballard
Sponsored by: Barry & Norma Harding
6. Danny Grimshaw
7. Thomas Coyle
Sponsored by: Yorkshire Signs
8. James Houston
Sponsored by: Stephen Bower Bespoke Joinery
9. David March
Sponsored by: A & R Construction
10. Luke Stenchion
Sponsored by: J Mulkeen & Co Builders Ltd
11. John Oakes
Sponsored by: Leeds Bacon Company Ltd
12. Aaron Lyons
Sponsored by: Linda Hemingway
13. Liam Mackay
14. Liam Hood
Sponsored by: Colin & Kath Smith
15. Brooke Broughton
16. Lewis Reed
17. Michael Haley
00:33 Aston Wilson Try
00:39 Liam Hood Try
00:53 Liam Hood Try
00:54 Andrew Ballard Goal
01:15 Aston Wilson Try
01:16 Andrew Ballard Goal
01:20 Andrew Ballard Try
01:20 Andrew Ballard Goal

Hunslet RLFC

Position T C P DP Points

York City Knights

Position T C P DP Points


Date Time Season
09/03/2014 3:00 pm 2014