No fun in the sun for Hunslet

Oldham RLFC 40-20 Hunslet RLFC

Hunslet’s four match unbeaten run came to an end yesterday (3 June 2023) at the Vestacare/Whitebank Stadium in Oldham as the Roughyeds were too good in the latter stages for an out of sorts Parksiders.

Oldham and Hunslet placed third and fourth respectively came into this game both looking to leapfrog Doncaster into second position, at least for 24 hours before the Dons visit Midlands Hurricanes.

In an entertaining game it was Hunslet that came out of the blocks fastest, putting pressure on the Oldham defence from the off. After Joe Burton had gone close quick hands sent Jack Render over in the corner on only 6 minutes, 0-4.

More Hunslet pressure should have meant more points, but Oldham defended well and after Hunslet were penalised for stealing, the Roughyeds found themselves close to the visitors line. An offload from the tackle meant Matthew Wilkinson was able to dart over from close range catching Hunslet napping. Ridyard converted and Oldham led 6-4.

In a see-saw game Hunslet got back level with a Beharrell penalty for tripping, and then took the lead with a second penalty after Oldham were messing about at the play the ball 6-8.

On 24 minutes though Martyn Ridyard showed his class when after sucking Hunslet’s defence in he put out a long ball to Joe Hartley who scored in the corner. Ridyard converting 12-8.

Hunslet’s forwards were hard to handle for the home team, Steve Crossley and Josh Jordan-Roberts made good yards and only four minutes later after a superb Joe Burton break Nathan Conroy was able to dummy and sneak over near the posts. Matthew Beharrell converting 12-14.

The Parksiders now looked to consolidate, and with good field position looked likely to score but a stray pass was intercepted by Connor Carr. He never looked likely to score, but the Hunslet defenders got in each other’s way and Carr was able to wriggle free and complete the try. Ridyard converting 18-14.

With moments to half time it looked like Hunslet had snatched the lead but Adam Ryder was brought back for a forward pass. 18-14 at the break but neither team had grabbed hold of the game.

Adam Ryder goes close

Hunslet started the second period invigorated and after Beharrell had forced a drop out great handing sent Jonny Campbell over in the corner which with Beharrell’s conversion edged them 18-20 in front.

Now was the time to take the game to Oldham, but the Roughyeds drew level after former Parksider Jordan Paga was tackled high and Ridyard added the points to make it 20-20.

Hunslet regained the ball from the kick off but couldn’t force the try, Beharrell’s kick was a touch too strong and Oldham survived the pressure.

Oldham were the next to score on 53 minutes when an inside ball from Martyn Ridyard sent Patrick Ah Van over, blind siding the Hunslet defence, 26-20.

Again it was a case of you score/we score, and with six tackles in the Oldham twenty Hunslet were looking to tie the scores up again. It looked as if Adam Ryder had been put clear but the referee pulled it back for a forward pass and the Roughyeds survived. Moments later quick passing put Patrick Ah Van over in the left corner and with Ridyard on form with the boot the home side led 32-20.

On such a hot day it was always going to be hard to reduce a 12 point deficit and with a Ridyard penalty for a late tackle, Oldham led 34-20 making it a three score lead.

Campbell and Beharrell try to break through

Although Hunslet tried to claw back a try it never looked like coming and from a Jordan Paga kick Zac Baker went over to make the score beyond doubt and with Ridyard faultless with the boot at 40-20 it was game over.

Things got worse for Hunslet when Sam Hallas was sin-binned after a scuffle in which the incident was put on report, but the 12 men ended the game well with Josh Jordan-Roberts being held up and Jack Render unlucky not to score with a spectacular dive.

Oldham did end on the attack though and on the hooter were deserved victors.

It was a tough day at the office for Hunslet against a well drilled Roughyeds, but the Parksiders’ defence was not as strong as it has been in recent weeks and they will feel it was an opportunity missed to really put down a marker.

With a rest week next week then games against Cornwall, Crusaders and Doncaster coming up it really is a crucial part of the season. The players voted Joe Burton as Man of the Match who made some lung busting runs from full-back.


Hunslet RLFC:  Joe Burton, Jack Render, Adam Ryder, Alfie Goddard, Jonathan Campbell, Matthew Beharrell, Jake Sweeting, Sam Hallas, Nathan Conroy, Steve Crossley, Josh Jordan-Roberts, Aaron York, Michael Knowles. Interchanges: Harvey Hallas, Jordan Syme, Lewis Wray, Brad Wheeler. 18th player: Danny Barcoe.

Oldham RLFC:  Gregg McNally, Joe Hartley, Connor Carr, Kian Morgan, Patrick Ah Van, Martyn Ridyard, Jordan Paga, Luke Nelmes, Matthew Wilkinson, Deane Meadows, George Hirst, Zac Baker, Emmerson Whittel.  Interchanges: Sean Slater, Samuel Kibula, Dominic Newton, Patrick Moran. 18th player: James Thornton.


Main photo: Joe Burton breaks through. All photos by Paul Johnson Phoenix 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