“Despite producing our worst performance of the year, we found a way to win; and I never felt we would lose.”

That’s the considered assessment of Hunslet’s head coach Alan Kilshaw a couple of days after his side’s 22-18 victory over Workington Town – a win that keeps the south Leeds outfit firmly in the Betfred League 1 promotion frame.

The Parksiders shot into an early 12-point lead with tries by Sean Croston – after Alfie Goddard had dislodged possession from an opponent with a forceful challenge – and captain Steve Crossley, who powered over off Matty Beharrell’s smart pass after Workington had again lost the ball.

The Cumbrians, though, recovered to 12-10 with a solo score by Ciaran Walker and a try in the corner for Sean Sabutey, Walker improving his own effort before seeing his second shot bounce back off a post.

Walker then levelled matters with a penalty, before Crossley charged through a huge gap off Beharrell’s telling pass, the latter improving for an 18-12 interval lead.

That was stretched to eight points when Beharrell landed a penalty as the hour beckoned, Workington losing Joe Kirkup to the sin-bin for a crusher tackle.

Town, though, got back into the contest when, after Nathan Conroy had pulled off a try-saving tackle, Sabutey squeezed in at the corner, Walker’s conversion pegging Hunslet back to a couple of points.

The Parksiders’ were handed a four-point cushion with Beharrell’s second penalty – his fifth goal from as many attempts. But, in a dramatic finale, Workington freed Sabutey, only for the winger to squander what would have been the levelling try – with the kick to come – by spilling the ball in diving over with just four minutes left.

‘Killer’ said: “Even if Sabutey had scored that try, and even if the subsequent conversion had been successful, I still feel we would have found a way to win.

“We have experienced players in our side with immense resolve, and I’m sure they would have come up with something in the closing stages.”

He continued: “We were the better side, and deserved to win, but going 12-0 up in the early stages through a couple of tries that we hadn’t perhaps quite earned maybe got us into the wrong mind-set. We were wasteful with the ball, and didn’t complete twelve sets, which tells its own story. For all that, though, we should have had two or three more tries. Josh Jordan-Roberts would have scored in what was his 100th professional appearance but had the ball kicked out of his hands – which I thought meant a penalty try in Rugby League – while Adam Ryder, who might also have been given a penalty try at one stage, would have scored a hat-trick on another day.

“I didn’t think Sabutey grounded the ball for their second touchdown either. It was one of those afternoons, but ultimately it was good to get the win, which was our first in the league against another `heartland’ club for over a year, since we won at Workington in September 2021 in fact. And, other than what appear to be minor knocks to Beharrell (shoulder), who had to come off for treatment for a short period under the ‘green card’ system, and Harvey Hallas (knee) we’d no injuries.”