HUNSLET lost ground to Oldham in Saturday’s battle for promotion placings in Betfred League 1, losing 40-20 to the hosts after having led 20-18 on 54 minutes.

The Parksiders were deservedly ahead, in a match in which the lead had changed hands on no fewer than eight occasions, through tries by Jack Render, Nathan Conroy and Johnny Campbell, with Matty Beharrell landing four goals.

But the Roughyeds had the better of the closing stages, posting unanswered touchdowns for Patrick Ah Van – with a quick brace – and Zac Baker, while Martyn Ridyard completed an eight-from-eight return with the boot.  Matty Wilkinson, Joe Hartley and Connor Carr had crossed earlier for Oldham, while the south Leeds outfit’s Sam Hallas was sin-binned on 72 minutes for an alleged foul tackle.

Hunslet head coach Alan Kilshaw said: “An indifferent 15-minute spell, after we’d gone 20-18 up, cost us, but it’s important that we don’t overreact to what was obviously a disappointing defeat.

“We had a couple of tries disallowed, for Jack Render and Adam Ryder, and things might very well have turned out differently if they had been given – especially Ryder’s – but we have to learn to put setbacks like those to one side, and not lose our discipline.

“Ultimately we started well and, considering that Sam Hallas was sinbinned towards the end, we finished well, with twelve men keeping our opponents at bay in a period that could have turned ugly, especially given the fatigue caused by our mismanagement of that crucial 15-minute period, when we were pushing passes and kicking out on the full.”

The Parksiders’ prospects weren’t helped, either, by the fact that the team bus turned up 40 minutes late, and that an incident on the M62 led to traffic jams that further delayed the side’s arrival at Oldham, whose notorious pitch suites the home side. And, after a good opening, Hunslet leaked three soft tries, including one from a ball-steal which on another day could have led to a Hunslet penalty.

Killer said: “Other than a dead leg for Harvey Hallas, and a foot injury for Jake Sweeting, we’d no injuries. If we’d played well and been beaten I’d be worried, but there’s plenty of room for improvement. We need to be better, for longer, in our games and reduce the penalties conceded, and unforced errors.”