Betfred Challenge Cup Round 3: Hunslet RLFC 14-22 Keighley Cougars

Former Hunslet man Adam Ryder scored a late try at South Leeds Stadium this afternoon (11 February 2024) to halt any chance of a home victory in a closely fought contest between two teams hoping to get promotion to the Championship this season.

The game had nothing in it, but it was Keighley that earned the right to play Featherstone Rovers in the next round of the Betfred Challenge Cup, although Hunslet Coach Dean Muir has plenty to take away from the game in his quest to get Hunslet ready and raring for the League Season.

Hunslet had the best of the early play and tested Billy Walkley with repeated Matty Beharrell kicks. The Parksiders hemmed Keighley in and finally broke through on the 15th minute when Williams and Beharrell combined to send Jude Ferreira over in the left corner. Beharrell converting brilliantly 6-0.

Hunslet stretched the lead on the 21st minute as Jack Render gathered a high Beharrell kick and released the ball on the ground for Beharrell to pounce on and score. 10-0

Beharrell follows his kick to score. Photo: Craig Irvine

Keighley finally spent some time in the home half and forced the Parksiders into a drop out, but the home defence was good until a player shot out of the line meaning Charlie Graham could step inside and wrong foot the defenders to score. 10-4

On loan signing Will Adams was having a good game until he suffered a shoulder injury and Aaron Levy was running in hard for The Parksiders, but the decisions started to go Keighley’s way as the half ended and on 39 minutes a kick and chase bobbled over the line as Jude Ferreira tried to kick it dead and Oscar Thomas backed up to score. 10-8 at the break.

Hunslet started the second half well but knocked-on from a simple pass and this invited Keighley to gain momentum, the Cougars put the ball through umpteen pairs of hands from right to left eventually Ellis Robson scoring a fine try in the corner. 10-12

The Parksiders started giving away soft penalties and couldn’t complete a set of tackles, inviting Keighley to camp on the home line. But the defence held well and when Alfie Goddard was unlucky attempting an interception anyone could still win.

The game became end to end. A Ross Whitmore kick was charged down causing chaos and Jude Ferreira was penalised for playing the ball believing he was tackled adding surrealism to the game.

On 65 minutes after Keighley had been pressuring Hunslet’s line Ellis Robson popped up again on the last tackle as Keighley went blind and for once the home defence were caught napping. 10-16

Adam Ryder is stopped by Aaron Levy and Harry Williams. Photo Craig Irvine

It was now or never for Hunslet, and after Cam Berry was held up on the 70th minute quick passing to the left threatened the Cougars line. But former Hunslet man Adam Ryder read the play, intercepted and went the length of the field to score. Hunslet defenders tackled him but Ryder was too strong and with Oscar Thomas converting the game looked up for Hunslet. 10-22

Hoping to get a couple of late tries Hunslet were reduced to 12 men as Toby Everett was sent off for a high tackle, but then showed some guile and skill on the left edge as Jude Ferreira released a fine ball for Jack Render to dive over in the corner. The conversion was wide though and on the hooter the Cougars took the win 14-22.

If Keighley are a benchmark for the league then Coach Dean Muir will be pleased with his team’s efforts today as at times Hunslet were the better team. They will want a reverse of this result when the Cougars visit Hunslet on Good Friday (29 March) for the first home League game of the season.

Sponsor’s Man of the Match went to Matty Beharrell while the Phoenix Bar Supporters Award went to Jack Render. There were also fine performances from Jude Ferreira, Will Adams and Billy Gaylor.

Hunslet play Batley in the 1895 Cup next week Sunday 18 February, kick off 3pm.


Hunslet RLFC:  Jimmy Watson, Alfie Goddard, Will Adams, Jude Ferreira, Jack Render, Harry Williams, Matty Beharrell, Harvey Hallas, Ross Whitmore, Toby Everett, Jordan Syme, Aaron Levy, Billy Gaylor.  Interchanges: Cam Berry, Spencer Darley, Liam Carr, Jack Coventry. 18th Player: Jack Mallinson.

Keighley Cougars:  Brandon Pickersgill, Charlie Graham, Adam Ryder, Tafeaga Sa’u, Billy Walkley, Oscar Thomas, Jack Miller, William Maher, Aaron Brown, Mark Ioane, Ellis Robson, Lachlan Lanskey, Daniel Parker.  Interchanges: Ben stead, Kyle Kisek, Jordan Schofield, Lewis Hatton. !8th Player: Joshua Lynam.


Main photo: Will Adams halts the Cougars.  Photo: Craig Irvine