Hunslet Hawks 38 Oldham 12

Date published: Wednesday, April 23, 2014
HUNSLET won round one of this season’s battles between two of the sides widely fancied as being up there among the Kingstone Press Championship One honours at the end of the season.
The Hawks scored seven tries to Oldham’s two so in that respect alone they finished worthy winners, but those statistics alone do not tell the whole story.
Had we taken the lead as early as the ninth minute, which we should have done when Josh Crowley broke into the clear with Tom Whitehead in support and only the full-back to beat, the whole complex of the game might have been different.
For an hour it was a closely-contested game. We trailed 12-6 at half-time, but we were still in serious contention up to the hour mark when we trailed 18-12.
The story of the game from our standpoint was one of bizarre mistakes, none more so than Ben Wood’s failure to tap the ball when restarting play from a penalty kick to touch. It was 6-6 then, we were camped out deep in Hunslet territory, and we had a full set of six to come from the penalty.
Ben’s clanger gave the referee no option but to order a scrum with head and feed to Hunslet —- an opportunity thrown away as nerves and pressure seemed to take hold of our young side.
About the same period, with the game finely balanced at that stage, Lewis Palfrey made an unforced error straight from a scrum deep inside the Hunslet half —– another rare mistake from a player who would normally take passes like that in his sleep.
Tom Whitehead, too, was put under severe pressure in the second half after he had failed to take a James Coyle bomb at the end of the first set after half-time.
It was important we scored first in the second half, but the home side extended their lead to 18-6, after which we still came back strongly to get back to 18-12.
It was then that Coyle produced a superb 40-20 which found the touchline between the covering Whitehead and the retreating Mo Agoro.
It led to another Hunslet try, and then another followed before Palfrey also produced a superb 40-20 only to have it mistakenly ruled out by the touchjudge. That just about summed up our day.
Agoro and Alex Davidson scored our tries with Palfrey landing both conversions.
Hunslet: Kain; Mapals, Watson, Maun, Akaidere; J Coyle, Ansell; Houston, March, Stenchion, Broughton, Oakes, Grimshaw. Subs: Tebb, Reed, Lyons, Mackay.
Oldham: Whitehead; Agoro, Cookson, Wood, Bloomfield; Palfrey, Hughes; Joy, Whitmore, Boults, Crowley, Langtree, Hobson. Subs: Gee, Davidson, Tyson, Ward.
Ref: Peter Brooke; Att: 598.