Hunslet battle back to win a shootout in Sheffield

Midlands Hurricanes 26-30 Hunslet RLFC

Hunslet came back from 18-0 down to win 26-30 against a lively Midlands Hurricanes at the Olympic Legacy Park, Sheffield today (14 April 2024) to take them to fourth place in the Betfred League 1.

Midlands could not play at their Alexander Stadium in Birmingham due to a prior booking, so the Parksiders made the short trip into South Yorkshire.

Definitely suffering from a hangover after last week’s defeat to Oldham the Parksiders were 6-0 down on only the 7th minute when after a Hunslet knock-on and a wiped clean set, former Hunslet hooker Danny Barcoe scooted over for a try, converted by David Hewitt.

Barcoe was a tough man to control, and the lively hooker made another break which broke down, but on 12 minutes another former Hunslet man Liam Welham cut through the left and fed Todd Horner to score under the posts. 12-0

It was all Hurricanes and on 15 minutes a high kick seemed to be knocked forward by Midlands but with the ref waving play on Matty Welham swept up to score. 18-0 and work to do.

Hunslet finally got some field position after a spear tackle on Jack Render. The resulting play saw Williams and Watson combining to give Alfie Goddard a chance, the big winger took with both hands. Beharrell converting .18-6.

On 25 minutes Midlands took 2 points after a high tackle, but from the kick off knocked-on and from the resulting scrum quick passing from Beharrell sent Jimmy Watson over. Beharrell converting 20-12.

Defences were not on top in the first half, but with ten minutes to the break Midlands were reduced to 12 men as former Hunslet forward Marcus Green was late on Jimmy Watson.

Although Midlands came near to an interception Hunslet’s pressure told when, after another penalty for a high tackle, Matty Beharrell held the ball up well and slipped Josh Jordan-Roberts over close to the sticks. Beharrell converting 20-18

Hunslet had done well to get back into the game but undid that good work on the hooter as another former Parksider Jake Sweeting stretched over after a Hunslet forward pass. 26-18 at the break.

Both teams would have been unhappy with their defences in the first half and that improved in the third quarter. Chances came but both teams fumbled the ball near to scoring.

With the loss of Josh Jordan-Roberts to injury Midlands began to get into attacking mode and both Jimmy Watson and Jack Render had to clear the Hunslet lines. Alfie Goddard came close to an interception before finally Hunslet attacked. Beharrell’s last tackle kick was good but Jimmy Watson couldn’t quite touch down.

An hour gone and still 26-18. Nerves were jangling when Daniel Spencer-Tonks made a busting run through the middle, knocking off defenders the back-rower looked to have scored but the ref said double movement, and then a quick tap got Midlands back on the front foot. End to end.

But by the 70th minute Hunslet were getting further up the field and quick thinking Cam Berry stole a try from acting half-back after Spencer-Tonks and Knowles made good yards. 26-24 and nothing in it.

Another Spencer-Tonks break set Hunslet up, and quick thinking from Matty Beharrell edged the visitors in front as his inch perfect kick was swept up by Jude Ferreira to score. Beharrell converting 26-30.

There were still nervy moments as the home side flung caution to the wind, but a high tackle on Harvey Hallas saw Tom Wilkinson going to the sin-bin and Hunslet saw the game out for the victory.

Another tough win on the road for the Parksiders, but they gave the opposition another leg up in the first quarter. Much improved defence in the second half saw them home to the relief of the travelling support.

Daniel Spencer-Tonks, Ethan O’Hanlon and Jimmy Watson shone, whilst Mackenzie Scurr had an impressive debut on the wing.

Hunslet RLFC:  Jimmy Watson, Mackenzie Scurr, Alfie Goddard, Jude Ferreira, Jack Render, Harry Williams, Matty Beharrell, Harvey Hallas, Ross Whitmore, Michael Knowles, Josh Jordan-Roberts, Aaron Levy, Jordan Syme.  Interchanges: Cam Berry, Toby Everett, Daniel Spencer-Tonks, Liam Carr.

Midlands Hurricanes:  Todd Horner, Max Kirkbright, Ross Oakes, Matty Welham, Jason Bass, Jake Sweeting, David Hewitt, John-Luke Kirby, Danny Barcoe, Marcus Green, Liam Welham, Tom Wilkinson, Blake Broadbent.  Interchanges: Elliot Windley, Aaron Willis, Lewis Peachy, Kieran Moran.  18th Player: Ellis Hobson.


Photo: Josh Jordan-Roberts stretches out to score.  Credit: Craig Irvine


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