Batley prove a tough ask for Hunslet

Hunslet RLFC 0-36 Batley Bulldogs

Hunslet bowed out of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup losing to Championship side Batley Bulldogs today at the South Leeds Stadium (Sunday 18 February 2024).

The Parksiders ran Keighley close last week in the Challenge Cup, but a battered and bruised Hunslet could not match a strong Batley side. Although four tough games against teams from last year’s Championship should be good prep for the League 1 season proper when it starts on 16 March at Newcastle Thunder.

With injuries to Michael Knowles, Josh Jordan-Roberts and Jack Render to name but a few the Parksiders started off well when Alfie Goddard slammed Joe Burton into touch, but the former Hunslet man got revenge on 12 minutes when quick hands allowed the winger time to score in the corner. 0-4

You cannot give re-sets to a team like Batley but that’s what Hunslet did. A knock-on in the tackle meant Batley could camp on Hunslet’s line before finally on 17 minutes Ben White forced his way over, Josh Woods adding the extras. 0-10

Batley piled on the pressure and Jude Ferreira had to pull off a try saving tackle, before a Ben White break saw quick hands and Joe Burton scored his second of the afternoon. 0-14

The Bulldogs knocked on from the kick off and Hunslet had a chance to strike. Harry Williams fired a superb ball to Dan McGrath who put Nathan Carter over but the big centre was held up over the line. 0-14 at the break.

The second period started again with relentless Batley pressure and although Nathan Carter stemmed the tide on 47 minutes Dane Manning went over for the visitors, Wood converting 0-20.

Hunslet got on the attack and Beharrell started to have an effect, but a loose pass put Batley on the front foot, and quick hands sent George Senior over. 0-26

With only an hour gone it could have got ugly, but Hunslet were defending well. Again, repeat sets being their undoing. On 61 minutes James Brown scored on the last tackle, then on 63 minutes Joe Burton completed a hat trick after the kick-off had been padded back only to find a retiring Batley forward. 0-36

Although Syme and Beharrell combined, the Batley line was never seriously threatened again and on the hooter Batley took the win 0-36.

Hunslet cannot be too disappointed they lost to a top Championship side, but they now have four weeks to nurse back some injured bodies before the League 1 season proper starts and the task of going for promotion begins.

Jimmy Watson got Supporters Man of the Match and Ross Whitmore Sponsors Man of the Match. There were also good performances from Nathan Carter and Spencer Darley.

Having seen the whole squad in action Coach Dean Muir will be pondering his best 17 come the 18 March.

Teams

Hunslet RLFC:  Jimmy Watson, Alfie Goddard, Nathan Carter, Jude Ferreira, Dan McGrath, Harry Williams, Matty Beharrell, Harvey Hallas, Ross Whitmore, Toby Everett, Jordan Syme, Luke Mearns, Billy Gaylor.  Interchanges: Cam Berry, Spencer Darley. Branden Wilkinson, Jack Coventry, Jack Mallinson.

Batley Bulldogs:  Robbie Butterworth, Dale Morton, Kieran Buchanan, George Senior, Joe Burton, Ben White, Josh Woods, Adam Gledhill, Alistair Leak, Luke Cooper, Dane Manning, Lucas Walshaw, Brandon Moore.  Interchanges: Oliver Burton, Nyle Flynn, Michael Ward, James Brown, Luke Blake.

 

Photo: Nathan Carter goes close for Hunslet.  Credit: Craig Irvine

 

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