Workington Town 22 Hunslet 24

Hunslet continued their superb away form holding on for a 22-24 victory at Derwent Park, Workington. The Parksiders have won all four of their games on the road in the Betfred League 1 and like the previous four this one was a close run thing with Hunslet defending superbly for the last 20 minutes.

Trying to gain revenge for an 18-30 defeat back in April at the South Leeds Stadium things didn’t start so well. A sloppy pass handed Workington good field position, and from the scrum quick hands sucked in the Hunslet defence for Ethan Bickerdike to score in the corner. 4-0 after only 5 minutes.

Hunslet were guilty of handling errors, but slowly they started to feel their way into the game with Matty Fletcher and Keenen Tomlinson making good yards. After a tip tackle on Jack Render Ross Whitmore made some good yards, before Matty Beharrell delayed a ball to send Josh Jordan-Roberts over. Beharrell converting 4-6 after 12 minutes.

The game changed moments later when Workington’s Jake Bradley was sin-binned for a trip on Michael Knowles as Hunslet attacked near the Town line.

Hunslet took advantage on 19 minutes as from the penalty Matty Fletcher proved too strong close to line, scoring near the posts for Beharrell to convert. 4-12

Although Workington got lucky when the referee deemed Jimmy Watson to have ran a kick dead, the resulting Town play was read by Matty Beharrell who intercepted and passed to Ferreira. The pacy three-quarter already has a hat-full of tries this season and no one in blue and white got near him as he finished near enough for Beharrell to convert. 4-18 after only 24 minutes.

The try of the match came on 29 minutes when Matty Fletcher got a ball out to Jordan Syme who split the Town defence, drew the full-back and sent a perfect pass to Jimmy Watson who celebrated scoring under the posts. 4-24

A full complement of 13 apiece was cut down to 12 as Matty Fletcher was sin-binned for Hunslet for a late tackle and Jordan Burns for Workington for retaliation. The resulting penalty saw Town snatch a try on the half time hooter as Jake Bradley went over in the left corner and Carl Forber converted. 10-24 at the break.

The Workington players would have received a flea in their ears for their first half performance from Coach Anthony Murray and came out reinvigorated in the second period. Jordan Syme had to pull off a great tackle on Ellis Archer, then Watson, Syme and Berry held a Workington attack up over the line.

But on 49 minutes after Hunslet had spilt the ball Carl Forber scored for the Cumbrians and converted to reduce the arrears to 16-24.

Workington were now not making many mistakes, and although Hunslet defended well they gave away penalties and were guilty of handling errors. Another handling error gifted Workington a chance and former Hunslet man Jason Mossop finished a Town break with plenty defenders round him to make it a 2 point game 22-24 with 20 minutes to go.

The momentum was with Workington but Jimmy Watson held the Hunslet line and smart kicking from Beharrell and Knowles pegged Town back. Hunslet looked to have intercepted on a couple of occasions but the referee deemed there to be a knock-on and with the crowd riled Hunslet were just hanging on.

A last ditch kick from Town tried to catch Hunslets right edge sleeping, but Alfie Goddard shepherded the ball out and Hunslet hung on for the victory.

On the hooter the travelling fans celebrated as Hunslet took another 2 hard fought points on the road.

Coach Dean Muir will be pleased with his sides attacking abilities in the first half, taking advantage when Workington were down to 12 men and his side’s resilience in defence late on, but not with some of the gifts that Hunslet gave Workington, which resulted in 3 tries.

Matty Fletcher and Michael Knowles were excellent for Hunslet whilst Jordan Syme’s season gets better and better as he becomes a lynchpin in Dean Muir’s squad.

Hunslet have a week off next week for the Challenge Cup final before entertaining Midlands Hurricanes at the South Leeds Stadium on Sunday June 16h at 3pm

HUNSLET – Watson, Goddard, Law, Ferreira, Render, Knowles, Beharrell, Hallas, Whitmore, Fletcher, Jordan-Roberts, Tomlinson, Syme, Berry, O’Hanlon, Coventry, Wood.

WORKINGTON TOWN – Burns, Bickerdike, Taylor, Mossop, Galea, Archer, Forber, Key, Henson, Scholey, Bradley, McNicholas, Stephenson, Tongia, Tabu, Walton, Thomson.