Hunslet RLFC 56-14 London Skolars
Hunslet rounded off their home Betfred League 1 Season with a win against winless London Skolars at the South Leeds Stadium.
The Parksiders have not gone unbeaten at home in a League campaign since 1986/87, and they can now look forward (after a trip to Workington) to securing second place and home advantage in the Play-off semi-finals, unless there is a big swing in points difference.
The Parksiders had a few players rested or injured, but got off to a good start on only 2 minutes when after a Jack Render break Myles Lawford fed the ball to Matty Beharrell who converted his own try to make it 6-0.
3 minutes later Spencer Darley made a break down the middle and quick hands to the right sent Adam Ryder over, Beharrell converting. 12-0
So far so good, but Skolars probably with nothing to lose came to have a go. Forcing a drop out the visitors put pressure on Hunslet’s line, and after Matty Beharrell was sin-binned for blocking, Max Allen brushed off a tackle to score. 12-4
Philip Lyon was looking lively for the visitors, but it was Hunslet that registered points next when, on 18 minutes, Steve Crossley scored from close in. Myles Lawford adding the extras. 18-4
Jimmy Watson found Josh Jordan-Roberts with a neat ball and the forward went on the rampage. Lewis Wray and then Matty Beharrell combined to put Johnny Campbell over in the corner and Hunslet were cruising 22-4 after only 22 minutes.
You could be forgiven for thinking Hunslet would get a cricket score. Campbell was unlucky from a chip over and Beharrell hit a lovely 40/20, but Skolars had the last say in the half when on 36 minutes Abevia McDonald intercepted a loose pass and went 80 yards to score. 22-10 at the break.
Boyed by their end to the half London came out with renewed vigour in the second period and only Jack Render’s dive stopped them threatening with a neat kick.
On 45 minutes Nathan Newbound (back from loan with Cornwall) released the ball in the tackle and Joe Burton combined with Johnny Campbell for the winger to get his second of the afternoon. 28-10
Nine minutes later Joe Burton made another break and Myles Lawford fed Jordan Syme to score. 34-10
Although the win was bound to be Hunslet’s, Skolars anticipated another move and after a fine interception Lyon set up Aaron Small to score a soft try. 34-14
Ollie Burton, coming off the bench, added fresh pace to the Hunslet attack and after Josh Jordan-Roberts had gone close Myles Lawford stepped round a tired Skolars defence to burst 50 yards to score under the posts. 40-14
Hunslet now pushed for their points difference and on 74 minutes Johnny Campbell completed a hat-trick plucking Beharrell’s kick from the air to score. 44-14
A loose Skolars pass saw Joe Burton go 90 yards to score before on the hooter Beharrell and Green combined to send Lewis Wray diving under the posts. 56-14
It was a sticky performance at times for the Parksiders, but there were some fine tries in what was in the end a 42 point victory margin.
Myles Lawford was outstanding, as was Joe Burton in the centre and his brother Ollie at hooker, and Lewis Wray ran strongly for the forwards. Next week Hunslet finish their League campaign at Workington, and unless they lose by a 30 point margin and Doncaster beat champions Dewsbury by the same the Parksiders will secure second place and home advantage in the Play-off Semi Final.
The news that Coach Alan Kilshaw will be leaving to take charge at Swinton next season didn’t dampen spirits, and Killer assured us that his focus was on getting Hunslet back in the Championship for the 2024 season.
Hunslet RLFC: Jimmy Watson, Jack Render, Adam Ryder, Joe Burton, Johnny Campbell, Matty Beharrell, Myles Lawford, Spencer Darley, Nathan Conroy, Steve Crossley, Josh Jordan-Roberts, Jordan Syme, Jordan Bull. Interchange: Ollie Burton, Nathan Newbound, Lewis Wray, Marcus Green. 18th Player: Brad Wheeler.
London Skolars: Louis O’Sullivan, Abevia McDonald, Lameck Juma, Aaron Small. Leighton Ball, Alex Deery, Phil Lyon, Todd Paul, Tommy Porter, Malkhi Lloyd-Jones, Max Allen, Fraser Percy-Farley, Liam O’Callaghan. Interchange: Matthew Ross, Christian Gale, Jack Harbridge, Edward Brown. 18th Player: Douglas Chirnside.