Head coach Alan Kilshaw is naturally delighted following the south Leeds outfit’s impressive 28-8 win over Betfred League 1 promotion rivals Doncaster on Sunday.
The Parksiders are now only two points behind the Dons – who would have been held to a draw in the game in South Yorkshire earlier in the season if a late conversion attempt by Hunslet’s Jake Sweeting hadn’t bounced back off a post – and are viewing the business end of the campaign with extra confidence.
With stand-off Matty Beharrell hugely impressive in attack and defence, and scrum-half Myles Lawford also influential, Hunslet went 16-0 up through tries by Harvey Hallas, Lawford and the outstanding Jack Render.
The Dons reduced the arrears to eight points at the break, courtesy of touchdowns for Brad Hey and Misi Taulapapa, but the hosts eased clear in the second period through second tries for both Render and Lawford, with Beharrell totalling four goals.
‘Killer’ said: “It’s good to win a tough game, not only for the players and coaches, who have worked very hard as a group, but also for the board and our loyal supporters. Historically Hunslet have tended to fall short and it’s rewarding to end that trend.
“Although we’re not perfect, and we’re some way off the finished article, we’re in good shape and have now won ten of our last eleven games. Ultimately, however, it’ll all come down to our final match of the season. If we win that, it’ll have been a successful campaign. If we don’t, it won’t have been.”
He continued: “There were many impressive performances against Doncaster, not least by Beharrell, who was superb. Render also had a big game and was very brave in grabbing his second try, when he knew he’d come down with a bump after rising high for Lawford’s kick. Loan man Jake Maizen did well on the other wing, with fewer opportunities, although he was very unlucky when a freak bounce of the ball denied him a chance early on off Beharrell’s kick in a planned move.”
Hunslet’s boss reflected: “We defended very well and that’s partly due to the impact of our strength and conditioning coach Myles Greenwood. And we make sure that the loan players we bring in are already fit and are willing to buy into our coaching methods, whether tactically or in terms of fitness requirements.”
That general fitness, and high team spirit, was illustrated in the closing seconds when, after the final hooter had gone, Dons winger Tom Halliday was hauled down by the Parksiders’ fullback Jimmy Watson, with captain and prop Steve Crossley also in the chasing group. “That attitude augers well for the business end of the season,” said `Killer’. “We’ve maybe gone under radar a bit but were now the hunted, not the hunters.”
Pictures courtesy of Craig Irvine