Hunslet RLFC 68-6 Heworth ARLFC
After last week’s disappointing opening League One defeat at Doncaster, Hunslet could focus on the Challenge Cup and a home tie against York amateurs Heworth ARLFC (26 February 2023) at the South Leeds Stadium.
In an unusual turn Hunslet Chairman Ken Sykes is also Heworth’s President giving today’s tie an added edge in what was dubbed the ‘Ken Sykes Cup’.
Hunslet Coach Alan Kilshaw was not going to take the opponents lightly and put out a very strong side with only a handful of key names missing through injury.
Still, it was Heworth who won the opening duals, Hunslet being sloppy in possession. Only good defence kept the National Conference side at bay before on 9 minutes Aaron York fed Jimmy Watson whose break enabled Nathan Conroy to send York over for the opening try. 6-0
It could have turned nasty for Heworth early on, but they got back into the game when former Hunslet man Danny Allan scored from close range after a brilliant 40/20 had secured them field position. Allen Converted and we were all square at 6-6.
Jordan Syme was one of the stand out players early on after missing out last week at Doncaster and after Heworth had turned the ball over Sam Hallas was too sharp around the ruck and fed Syme close in to score. 12-6.
Although Heworth were still a threat, on 22 minutes the Parksiders extended their lead when Jake Sweeting was tackled close to the line and quick hands sent Jack Render over in the corner. 16-6
Now Hunslet looked sharp and on 26 minutes Joe Burton broke on the left sucking in the Heworth defence. Quick hands then gave Watson a chance to put centre Adam Ryder over for his first of the afternoon.
Again, Heworth could have folded here, but they stuck to their task and the next points didn’t come until right on the hooter when Sam Hallas was again lively at the ruck setting up Nathan Newbound to power over close in. Jake Sweeting converting his 5th of the half.
Half Time: 28-6
Mistakes Hunslet had made in the first half started to be cut out as the League 1 side showed their class. On 42 minutes quick hands sent Joe Burton over before 5 minutes later a smart inside ball from Nathan Conroy put Josh Jordan-Roberts in a position to score. 40-6
Heworth will point out they are only two games into their season and therefore not as match fit as their opponents, but Hunslet now were slipping into the higher gears and on 48 minutes a Jake Sweeting ball sent Adam Ryder into space for the centre to sprint 50 yards to collect his second score of the afternoon. 46-6
Shortly after, a Hunslet free kick didn’t reach touch, but winger Dan McGrath didn’t give it up for dead and hacked the ball forward. The bounce was fortunate and Hunslet had hit the 50 mark.
Halfbacks Jake Sweeting and Nathan Conroy manoeuvred Hunslet around the park smartly all afternoon and combined well to put Jimmy Watson in the corner before a Liam Carr break fed Harvey Hallas, who was far too strong to stop from touching down under the posts. 62-6
With moments to go Danny Barcoe charged down a tired Heworth kick to touch down and Jake Sweeting converted completing a good afternoon kicking 10 from 12.
Hunslet were comfortably through, winning 68-6.
Afterwards Coach Alan Kilshaw felt that although his team were easy winners they did leave a few tries out on the field and against tougher opposition this would be costly, but did acknowledge a tremendous second half performance.
In the end the job was well done, and with 11 different try scorers it shows the whole team contributed, the Man of the Match reflecting this being awarded to strong running interchange forward Lewis Wray.
Jack Earl picked up Man of the Match for the visitors with Danny Allan and former Hunslet man Liam Watling also holding the Heworth end up with pride.
Hunslet are back in League 1 action next Sunday (5 March) at home to North Wales Crusaders and will find out who they play on Sunday 12 March in the next round of the Challenge Cup when the draw is made tomorrow evening (27 February 2023).
Hunslet RLFC: Jimmy Watson, Jack Render, Adam Ryder, Jo Burton, Dan McGrath, Jake Sweeting, Nathan Conroy, Harvey Hallas, Sam Hallas, Jordan Bull, Josh Jordan-Roberts, Aaron York, Jordan Syme. Interchanges: Danny Barcoe, Nathan Newbound, Lewis Wray, Liam Carr, Harvey Whiteley.
Heworth ARLFC: Adam Dent, William Sturdy, Harrison Briggs, George Elliott, George Atang, Danny Alan, Liam Jackson, Thomas Clarke, Jack Earl, Joe Hemmings, Craig Tylor, Liam Watling, Liam Richmond. Interchanges: Jack Sadler, Tom Barrion, Joseph Fish, Liam Sharples, Callum Childs.
Pictures courtesy of Paul Whitehurst