Hunslet caught in hurricane

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Hunslet RLFC 0-24 Midlands Hurricanes

Hunslet’s push for play-off momentum took a huge hit on Friday night (July 29, 2022) as a determined and well-drilled Midlands Hurricanes team tackled the home side out of the park and delivered the surprise result of the season.

Hunslet is still favorite to finish 6th and secure a play-off spot and will point out key men were missing in Duane Straugheir, Jimmy Watson, Josh Jordan-Roberts, Joe Summers and Harvey Hallas, but this loss will be a dent in their trust.

Many will watch Hunslet’s performance, but it does an injustice to the Midlands who were superb.

At first the Hunslet forwards were on top with Ethan O’Hanlon and Joe Hird running strong but the Midlands defense absorbed him and were unlucky when Ben Stead broke through only to be stopped by an excellent tackle by Liam Carr.

The first try came 20 minutes after Hunslet fumbled the ball. Tom Wilkinson moved from interim halfback and Ben Stead converted. 0-6

Both teams were error-prone, but after 30 minutes of fast passing the Hurricanes, Wallis could pull off a theatrical dive into the corner to score. 0-12

Home fans thought both tries should have been disallowed, but the referee had none.

The half ended badly for Hunslet, as power forward Sion Jones had to leave the pitch injured, and Jack Render had to save more home blushes by kicking the ball dead with one shot Hurricanes’ dangerous footwork. Half time 0-12

Hunslet manager Alan Kilshaw had been banned and couldn’t be near his players for an hour either side of the game or during the game, so the half-time team chat was left to assistant coach Ryan Jackson.

Hunslet came out more determined in the second half and Jordan Paga and Macauley Hallett came closer, but the Midlands scrambling defense was excellent and although Matty Beharrell was busy with ideas, Hunslet’s attack looked flat and one-dimensional.

Another blow for the Parksiders came as fullback Jack Render was forced off the pitch. Moments later an error handed the ball to Midlands and an excellent pass saw Tyler Walton score 0-16

Midlands errors continued to give Hunslet chances, and it looked like they had taken advantage of them when Beharrell drilled through and put Liam Carr under the sticks, but the referee frustrated the recoil for a forward pass.

Although Hunslet continued to press, they were unable to break through the Hurricanes defense and a Midlands 40/20 broke the pressure. A penalty soon after for a high tackle was converted by Ben Stead to make it 0-18 and with just 5 minutes to go it looked like the game was over for Hunslet.

Hunslet man of the match Ethan O’Hanlon went close and deserved a try for his aggressive running, and former Hunslet man AJ Boardman looked it all to score an interception for Midlands but got away with it. is stopped with a cramp.

The last hurray rightly went to the Hurricanes as Chris Cullimore came close on the horn to hand the visitors a famous victory. 0-24

This will be a game that Hunslet will have to forget and move on. Things don’t get any easier in a fortnight with a trip to the Keighley Cougars table. But hopefully some of the injured players will be fit and have shown this season that they can be up to anyone.

For the Midlands, that will likely be next year and their eventual move to Birmingham’s Alexandra Stadium.

Hunslet will be next at home on Friday 26e August v Doncaster.

Teams

Hunslet RLFC: Jack Render, Wayne Rettie, Jason Mossop, Macauley Hallett, Mackenzie Turner, Jordan Paga, Matthew Beharell, Joseph Hird, Ollie Burton, Ethan O’Hanlon Jordan Syme, Liam Carr, Cole Oakley. Subs: Cam Berry, Matty Stableford, Sion Jones, Ross Peltier.

Midland Hurricanes: Kieron Lawton, Elliott Wallis, Matthew Welman, Liam Welman, Hayden Freeman, George Collins, Ben Stead, Tyler Walton, Chris Cullimore, Sam Bowring, Bailey Dawson, Tom Wilkinson, Jordan Bull. Subs: Elliott Windley, Anthony Boardman, Nathan Newbound, Tyler Hepple.

Pictured: No way as Peltier and Paga try to break through the Midlands defence. Credit: Paul Butterfield


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