Dewsbury Rams 12-6 Hunslet RLFC
Hunslet’s Good Friday fixture (7 April 2023) at Dewsbury Rams ended in a 12-6 defeat, but the Parksiders will be happy with their performance and will think they probably should have won.
The Rams, who were buoyant after an impressive 32-12 Challenge Cup victory over Widnes the week before, were hanging on in the end, but ultimately got the victory and now top the League 1 table with five victories from five.
Hunslet, who were missing Jake Sweeting and Aaron York, but otherwise had a strong squad started off well and after a penalty decision went their way Nathan Conroy was held up over the line, denying the Parksiders a perfect start.
Dewsbury eventually got the momentum, with 50/50 decisions going their way, but Hunslet’s defence was up to the task.
It was a proper game of Rugby League with two equally matched sides and we had to wait until the 23rd minute for the first try. A superb 40/20 gave Dewsbury field position and eventually Calum Turner forced his way over with Paul Sykes converting. 6-0
Hunslet’s tactics of clearing the ruck and stealing the ball was working well, and they could count themselves unlucky as Joe Burton seemed to take the ball one on one and break away, but was pulled back by the officials.
Another ball steal by Harvey Hallas sent the Parksiders close, but the killer play came on 40 minutes when a Callum Turner kick wasn’t dealt with and quick passing sent Lewis Carr over in the corner. Paul Sykes conversion hit the top of the post and bounced over and the Rams had a 12-0 half time lead.
Dewsbury had had the decisions in the first half, now the penalties went to Hunslet. On the back of three penalties Hunslet won a scrum and whipped the ball out quickly for Jack Render to score. Josh Jordan-Roberts converting. 12-6
Hunslet now had the momentum and Sam Hallas (who was a constant thorn in Dewsbury’s side) went close to scoring, but the Parksiders were not immune to mistakes as the game ebbed and flowed.
Dewsbury were held up over the line, and Michael Knowles forced a drop-out for Hunslet, the next score, it was obvious, would be crucial.
But as time ticked over the hour mark it was Hunslet knocking at Dewsbury’s door. Pressure and penalties sent the Parksiders close, but they just couldn’t get that killer pass out.
Although Paul Sykes attempted a Drop Goal for Dewsbury to stretch the advantage to 7 points, it was Hunslet who were attacking when the hooter sounded (without hardly any added time at all).
So, disappointment in the end for the Parksiders, but having played the two most fancied teams (Doncaster and Dewsbury) away and having only lost by 2 points and 6 points respectively, Coach Alan Kilshaw will feel his side are in the right ballpark and with these teams to visit South Leeds later in the season would hope to reverse these defeats.
Hunslet Parkside Ex-players Association Man of the Match (voted by the players) went to Sam Hallas who led the line well, with Harvey Hallas, Steve Crossley and Nathan Conroy all putting in strong performances too.
Although Hunslet now lie in 5th position in League 1 they will think they have a run of winnable matches now coming up (albeit with some big breaks in-between). Next week (16 April) the Parksiders host Midlands Hurricanes at the South Leeds Stadium (3pm).
Hunslet RLFC: Jimmy Watson, Jack Render, Adam Ryder, Alfie Goddard, Kieron Lawton, Joe Burton, Nathan Conroy, Steve Crossley, Sam Hallas, Nathan Newbound, Josh Jordan-Roberts, Jordan Syme, Mike Knowles. Interchanges: Daniel Barcoe, Harvey Hallas, Lewis Wray, Brad Wheeler. 18th man: Spencer Darley.
Dewsbury Rams: Owen Restall, Lewis Carr, Bailey O’Connor, Ollie Greensmith, Perry Whiteley, Paul Sykes, Calum Turner, Jimmy Beckett, Reiss Butterworth, Ronan Dixon, Matt Garside, Brad Graham, Connor Davies. Interchanges: Sam Day, Elliot Morris, Dale Ferguson, Luke Littlewood. 18th man: Jackson Walker.
Referee: Kevin Moore
Pictures Paul Whitehurst