Rampant Hunslet shock Cougars

Keighley Cougars 18-26 Hunslet RLFC

Hunslet put in their best performance of the season today at Cougar Park (5 May 2024) to topple unbeaten Keighley Cougars on TV and in front of their own fans.

Coach Dean Muir had said the Parksiders had been good for 20 minutes in previous encounters with the Cougars, but his team grafted for the full 80 minutes today and reaped their rewards.

On a sunny and warm afternoon the early parts of the game were even with both teams not making many mistakes. Hunslet defended well when asked to, and were the first score on 10 minutes when from a loose ball quick passing sent Jack Render off down the left wing. An inside ball to Jude Ferreira and the centre sprinted over for the opening score. 0-4

Matty Beharrell and Myles Lawford were ruling the roost at halfback and their kicking sent the big Cougars forwards back.

On 21 minutes Hunslet struck on the last tackle as Beharrell sent a pin-point kick for Jude Ferreira to pounce on. Unfortunately no conversion, but Hunslet led 0-8.

Keighley, heading down the slope, started to get some traction, and on 25 minutes again on the last tackle Jack Miller dummied to kick and stepped inside, the ball eventually went to Junior S’au who was held up but flipped the ball up for Ellis Robson to touch down. 6-8

Now the Cougars started to apply pressure and on 32 minutes quick passing sent Billy Walkley over, before on 36 minutes Junior Sa’u added another, running at the unfortunate Joe Law who had only just recovered from a knock. 14-8

Things got worse for Hunslet as Isaac Shaw was sent to the sin-bin and the Parksiders had to hold out for the hooter. But when it came no more points had been conceded and at 14-8 Hunslet were well in the match.

Keighley started the second half strongly, but both Ethan O’Hanlon and Jimmy Watson pulled off try saving tackles to keep Hunslet in it.

On 49 minutes again on the last tackle Hunslet shipped the ball to the right. Beharrell and Levy combined to hit centre Joe Law on a brilliant angled run. Showing a nice step the youngster scored and with Beharrell converting we were all square at 14-14.

Both teams were serving up some good rugby in the heat, but on 52 minutes Keighley got lucky as a kick re-bounded off a Hunslet man again on the last tackle. A nice back pass sent the ball out to Billy Walkley who dived in the corner. 18-14.

Would the big Cougars forwards take control? Well no, Jordan Syme made a good break, Lawford threatened, Scurr went close and Berry was held short as Hunslet looked to finish strongly.

On 62 minutes Beharrell put a kick to the corner up and after Jack Render had padded back Jude Ferreira touched down to complete a hat-trick. Beharrell coolly converted and Hunslet led 18-20

Now Hunslet had to put their bodies on the line in defence. Scurr knocked a pass down when a Cougars try looked certain and the Myrtle wall stood solid.

On 74 minutes after a Hunslet penalty on the Keighley line Myles Lawford put a nice grubber kick in for Jude Ferreira to back up and score his fourth of the afternoon. Beharrell converted and at 18-26 it was Hunslet’s day.

The last few minutes saw Keighley dazed and although Matty Beharrell had to read and intercept an attacking kick Hunslet finished the stronger with Ross Whitmore being held up over the line.

On the hooter the home crowd were stunned. But it was a victory Hunslet thoroughly deserved, 1-17 stuck with the game plan and were excellent in defence and clinical in attack.

Jude Ferreira will get all the plaudits for his four tries, but Beharrell, Lawford and Render worked hard, as did Hallas and Syme. But honestly all 17 players were outstanding in a performance that sends a message out to the other teams in the league.

Hunslet RLFC:  Jimmy Watson. Mackenzie Scurr, Jude Ferreira, Joe Law, Jack Render, Myles Lawford, Matty Beharrell, Michael Knowles, Ross Whitmore, Harvey Hallas, Josh Jordan-Roberts, Aaron Levy, Jordan Syme.  Interchanges: Cam Berry, Ethan O’Hanlon, Isaac Shaw, Billy Gaylor.  18th player: Alfie Goddard.

Keighley Cougars:  Brandon Pickersgill, Adam Ryder, Junior Nuu, Junior S’au, Billy Walkley, Alex Bishop, Jack Miller, Will Maher, Kyle Kesik, Mark Ionae, Ellis Robson, Mitch Revell, Aaron Brown.  Interchanges: Oscar Thomas, Dan Parker, Lewis Hatton, Jordan Schofield.  18th player: Charlie Graham.


Photo: Michael Knowles congratulates Jude Ferreira on the win


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