Hunslet Hawks won a hard fought West Yorkshire derby against Keighley Cougars at Cougar Park this afternoon (31 July 2016), with both teams needing to win to keep their season alive.
Solid defence and effective game management, especially in the second half, saw Hunslet Hawks win and give themselves a real chance of making the top five and a chance of promotion.
Both teams were weakened through injuries, Hunslet missing Simon Brown. But Danny Thomas and Danny Ansell stepped up to show leadership and an intelligent kicking game when it mattered.
Hunslet went 0-12 up, Danny Ansell scoring on 6 minutes and Kyran Johnson after 25 minutes, Ansell kicking both conversions.
Keighley fought back with two tries before half time. Adam Brook scored on 30 minutes and Paul White on 39 minutes. Brook was unable convert either try, so Hunslet went in 8-12 up at the break.
Stewart Sanderson scored the decisive try for the Hawks 9 minutes into the second house, outjumping White to take the ball over the line.
A injured Jake Normington got himself sin-binned after lashing out in frustration, but the 12 man Hunslet held out against an increasingly desperate and mistake prone Keighley.
Full time score: Keighley Cougars 8-18 Hunslet Hawks
The win sees Hunslet leapfrog Keighley, moving from seventh to sixth in the Kingstone Press League 1 Super 8s.
Hawks fans were delighted with the win as the following comments on Twitter show:
Gareth Evans @GazEvans03 said:
“Wow, simply wow, @HunsletHawksRL boys gave us everything today, they did that for us and Mark! What a day, what an effort from all! #proud”
Finona Galloway @FiPin said:
“Fantastic game for @HunsletHawksRL absolute passion, awesome defence and without doubt best fans in the league! #allhunsarewe”
Hunslet Hawks: Watson, Sanderson, Johnson, Mvududu, Barnett, Thomas, Ansell, Coventry, Lee, Reed, Williams, Normington, Carbutt. Subs: Haley, Flanagan, Robinson, Milburn.
Keighley Cougars: R Hawkyard, Gabriel, Barnes, R Sheriffe, White, Brook, Handforth, Walker, Feather, Bailey, Oakes, D Hawkyard, Lynam. Subs: Lawton, Cherryholme, Jode Sheriffe, Martin.