Oldham 30 Hunslet 6

Hunslet lost out to table topping Oldham at Boundary Park, but for long periods in the game matched the title favourites and but for an injury and a bounce of the ball the score could have been a lot closer.

Having said that, the Parksiders gifted Oldham 2 early tries. A penalty for a high tackle gave Oldham early possession close to Hunslet’s line. Quick passing to the left and some poor defence saw Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e score in the left corner on only 2 minutes. Cian Tyrer converting. 0-6

Oldham smelt blood and put a long kick in down field, Hunslet seemed to not smell the danger and Alfie Goddard was tackled behind the line. From the ensuing play Cian Tyrer touched down and Oldham lead 10-0 after only 7 minutes.

Oldham tried to put the game to bed, but Hunslet’s defence had woke up, great scrambling kept Hunslet in the game and eventually they mounted attacks of their own.

A chance on the left created by Jimmy Watson was intercepted by Oldham at a crucial moment, but with Beharrell’s kicking Oldham were being pegged back. Jimmy Watson tried a neat kick through for Mackenzie Scurr but Oldham recovered and the chance was gone.

Although Hunslet were now on top and all the play was in Oldham’s half, the Parksiders were guilty of overplaying and losing the ball early in the tackle count. The Roughyeds defence held firm and nearing the end of the half mounted an attack of their own. Watson brilliantly tackled Laulu-Togaga’e before Joe Law diffused a dangerous bomb.

Just before the break things looked worrying for Hunslet as Matty Beharrell came off with a facial injury, unfortunately not to return. 10-0 at the break.

Hunslet needed on loan half-back George Flanagan to shine in the second half and that he did. Early on with Joe Law he stopped a dangerous Cian Tyrer break. Before on 48 minutes a Michael Knowles kick was knocked back by Alfie Goddard for Joe Law to pick up and score. Flanagan converting 10-6

Remonstrating about the try Danny Craven was sinbinned for Oldham and Hunslet now had a man advantage and the wind in their sails.

Flanagan and Knowles were combining well as Hunslet looked to press, but a try wouldn’t come and on 57 minutes an awkward kick over Hunslet’s line wasn’t fielded or knocked dead and Bailey Aldridge pounced to score. 16-6

This unsettled Hunslet and after being penalised from the kick-off Cian Tyrer scored again in the corner and 3 minutes later from a kick Logan Astley took the game away as a contest. 26-6 on 63 minutes.

Flanagan again at the helm, Hunslet started to force some pressure but it wasn’t to be. On the 76th minutes a long ball out to Cian Tyrer went to ground. The winger controlled with his foot and then showed great skill to score and complete his hat-trick. 30-6

Although Hunslet never stopped pressing the game was up and Oldham were deserved winners.

Hunslet will be frustrated they took 10 minutes to get going and failed to recover 2 innocuous kicks which led to tries, but for large parts matched a team who are clear favourites for the league and are stuffed with experienced Championship players.

Losing Matty Beharrell was a big blow and waiting on the extent of his injury will be worrying for Coach Dean Muir, but there were impressive performances from George Flanagan, Matty Fletcher and Michael Knowles who all shined.

Hunslet have a week off this week before going to Newcastle on Sunday July 14th.

OLDHAM – Laulu-Togaga’e, Jack Johnson, Roebuck, O’Keefe, Tyrer, Craven, Astley, Farnworth, Wildie, Jay Chapelhow, Hirst, Taylor, Moran, Aldridge, Josh Johnson, Ted Chapelhow, Kopczak, Gallagher.

HUNSLET – Watson, Scurr, Ferreira, Law, Goddard, Flanagan, Beharrell, Hallas, Whitmore, Fletcher, Jordan-Roberts, Levy, Knowles, Berry, O’Hanlon, Syme, Coventry, Carr.