Hunslet finish second despite loss

Workington Town 18-6 Hunslet RLFC

Hunslet finished the regular Betfred League 1 season in second position despite losing their final fixture at Derwent Park, Workington yesterday (27 August 2023), and will now enter the play-off’s in a favourable position with only two games to win to gain promotion to the Championship.

The Parksiders haven’t lost a game since 3 June, but were out of sorts against a Workington side that have also scraped into the play-offs.

Missing wingers Jack Render and Johnny Campbell and front rower Harvey Hallas, the Parksiders started off well when Adam Ryder made a break and came close to scoring. But mistakes invited the home side into the game and with both sides conceding penalties the game became a stop/start affair.

All square on the 20 minute mark Town took the lead when Jimmy Watson fielded a kick and ran in well, but Hanley Dawson stole the ball for the Cumbrians and sprinted 30 yards to score. 6-0

Although there was nothing in the game Workington looked strong on the left with Sean Sabutey, while Dan McGrath was impressive for Hunslet on the wing, but Hunslet’s uncharacteristic mistakes were giving the home side a leg up.

It could have been worse as Town got on top towards the end of the half but good tackling stopped Sabutey scoring in the corner. 6-0 at the break and much to do.

Sensing the visitors were on an off day Workington started the second half well. Sabutey made another break but was cover tackled well by Myles Lawford.

On 48 minutes a move between Forber and Walker cut Hunslet open and despite Jimmy Watson’s best efforts Matty Henson scored under the posts. 12-0

Myles Lawford again had to be called upon to defend, but now Beharrell was coming into the game for Hunslet. On 60 minutes a long Lawford pass went to McGrath, who cut inside and found a gap in the Town defence to score a lovely solo try. 12-6

Just as it seemed the visitors were coming into the game a broken play caught the Hunslet defence napping and Jordan Burns nipped through to score. 18-6 after 66 minutes.

Hunslet now saw the game slipping away and tried a few ‘out of the box’ moves to turn the game around. Lawford and Beharrell tried early kicks and Ryder and McGrath nearly broke through on the right hand side, but it wasn’t to be.

The game, which had not been an entertaining one, turned ugly towards the end as Beharrell and Scholey were sin-binned almost on the hooter.

Workington took the win on what was an off day for Hunslet, but the big picture is that the Parksiders have had a fine season and have finished second in the table, something that not many fancied them to do.

We are now into play-off Football and Hunslet will play either Doncaster or Oldham on Sunday 10 September (6pm kick off) at the South Leeds Stadium in the Play-off Semi Final. If they win that game they are a home win away from promotion.

Dan McGrath had a fine game for Hunslet winning the Hunslet Parkside Ex-players Association Player of the Match, whilst Beharrell and Ryder looked dangerous in attack.


Hunslet RLFC:  Jimmy Watson, Dan McGrath, Adam Ryder, Joe Burton, Alfie Goddard, Matty Beharrell, Myles Lawford, Jordan Bull, Sam Hallas, Steve Crossley, Josh Jordan-Roberts, Aaron York, Michael Knowles. Interchanges: Ollie Burton, Lewis Wray, Marcus Green, Jordan Syme. 18th player: Nathan Newbound.

Workington Town:  Jordan Burns, Sean Sabutey, Max Anderson-Moore, Jason Mossop, Ethan Bickerdike, Ciaran Walker, Carl Forber, Stevie Scholey, Matty Henson, Jordan Thomson, Jake Bradley, Liam McNicholas, Hanley Dawson. Interchanges: Blaine Marwood, JJ Key, Grant Reid, Jack Stephenson. 18th player: Malik Steele.


Photo: Adam Ryder on the charge against Workington. Credit: KC Photography


While you’re here, can we ask a favour?

South Leeds Life is published by a not-for-profit social enterprise. We keep our costs as low as possible but we’ve been hit by increases in the print costs for our monthly newspaper – up 83% in the last 12 months.

Could you help support local community news by making a one off donation, or even better taking out a supporters subscription?

Donate here, or sign up for a subscription at

Thank you for your support