So it’s Hunslet in the final

Date published: Monday, September 29, 2014
SCOTT Naylor wasn’t surprised by Hunslet’s semi-final play-off win at York which sets up an Oldham-Hunslet final at Headingley Carnegie next Sunday.
Despite York’s three league wins against their arch-rivals, Naylor has always said that Hunslet’s greater experience would give the men from south Leeds a vital edge in cut-and-thrust play-off rugby.
They trailed 12-0 at half-time, but got on top in the second half at the Huntington Stadium to win 32-24, scoring 22 points in the last 20 minutes.
Full-back Jimmy Watson, hooker Liam Hood (2), centre Danny Maun and wingers Gavin Duffy and James Duckworth scored tries to take Hunslet through to a Grand Final showdown with Oldham in their home city.
“It was going to be tough whoever we were paired with,” said Oldham chairman Chris Hamilton. “We’ve played Hunslet three times and beaten them twice, once at Whitebank and once at their place, but each game has been very hard and we expect nothing less in the final.
“The way we have gone about our business in the play-offs, however, means we have to be quietly confident.”
Oldham were beaten 38-12 at Hunslet early in the season, but they won 24-23 at Whitebank in July, thanks to Josh Crowley’s last-minute try in the corner, and pipped them again 25-24 in a play-off thriller at the South Leeds Stadium two weeks ago.
Naylor gave his men the weekend off for rest and relaxation in readiness for tough prep sessions tomorrow night and again on Thursday.
Crowley and centre Jon Ford are named in the Kingtone Press Championship One team of the season, which also includes Hunslet centre Danny Maun and a staggering seven players from York, including Colton Roche, who had a brief spell at Whitebank at the end of the 2012 season.
Team of the season: Reynolds (York); Saltonstall (York), Maun (Hunslet), Ford (OLDHAM), Dent (York); Beharrell (Gateshead), Smith (York); Maloney (Hemel), Lee (York), Aldous (York), Crowley (OLDHAM), Payne (Gateshead), Roche (York).
Tickets for Headingley will be on sale from Whitebank every night this week from 5pm to 7pm, priced from £17 (standing) to £20 (seats). Concessions are £10 in both categories. Payment by cheque or cash only.
The club reports healthy sales and advises fans who wish to travel on club coaches for £10 to book as soon as possible.
The Supporters’ Association (ORSA) have a quiz night on Thursday (8pm) at Higginshaw ARLFC, St Stephen’s Street, Oldham. Admission is £1 with a maximum of six in a team. Prizes will include a chance to win a £120 jackpot.