HUNSLET 32 – 18 GLOUCESTERSHIRE ALL GOLDS
Photo courtesy of Simon Hall
A twelve-minute hat-trick from full-back Jimmy Watson put Hunslet in the driving seat and on their way to a comfortable-looking win over the All Golds at the South Leeds Stadium.
It was the All Golds’ last game against northern opposition this season and their last chance to cap their most successful season yet in terms of wins with a big scalp.
They had competed strongly in the first period and led at the interval thanks to a Ben Stead penalty from inside his own half but conceded early in the second period before Watson got to work.
The sides had met way back at the beginning of March and in dark and wet conditions the All Golds had made Hunslet work for their 10-6 win.
Five months later, on a firmer, drier track, they did their best to go one better and opened the scoring after six minutes, Phil Cowburn sending Mo Agoro in at the corner for his 20th try of the season as the visitors took advantage of their hosts’ hesitant start to the game.
The All Golds were dictating the pace of the game and Hunslet’s reply came against the run of play as Joe Sanderson supported up the middle to take Cameron Leeming’s pass to score with 15 minutes gone.
He repeated the trick four minutes later when a slick pass from Liam Mackay sent Mofaru Mvududu racing through the All Golds’ left edge to send confidence surging through the home ranks.
Sanderson added one goal for a 10-4 home lead but the All Golds squared things up after half an hour when Joe McClean just got a fingertip to Stead’s kick to the in-goal.
Stead added the goal from out wide and then used the wind at his back to slot the long-range penalty with the last kick of the half after Hunslet captain George Flanagan had been sin-binned for persistent dissent.
Hunslet had twice conceded back-to-back penalties for chopsing so the interval came at a perfect time for them to regroup.
They did so with a vengeance and came out with a much more positive attitude in the second period. They even made it look like the All Golds had a man short when they created a huge overlap for Dean Roberts to score three minutes after the resumption.
Then Watson got to work, first selling Cowburn a dummy to score untouched and then taking Lewis Reed’s late offload to coast over as the All Golds defence stood and watched expecting the tackle to have been completed.
His third came as he backed up Flanagan’s bust up the middle and with Sanderson adding two goals, the home side were firmly in control.
So much so that they took their foot off the gas and allowed the visitors to dominate the final quarter of an hour.
The All Golds forced two goal-line dropouts with dangerous kicks behind the posts and Steve Parry scored a typical effort from dummy half when a quick play-the-ball gave him an open line to pick his spot to score.
Stead goaled to add a small amount of respectability to the scoreline, with just three games remaining, leave the All Golds secure in fourth barring a series of bizarre results.
HUNSLET: 1 Jimmy Watson; 39 James Duckworth, 4 Mufaro Mvududu, 24 Cameron Leeming, 28 Marcus Webb; 33 Joel Gibson, 6 Joe Sanderson; 22 Lewis Reed, 38 Luke Teasdale, 35 Matt Nicholson; 11 Jake Normington, 13 Liam Mackay; 17 Nyle Flynn; SUBSTITUTES: 21 Jack Walton, 37 Dean Roberts, 8 Michael Haley, 14 George Flanagan
Tries: Sanderson (2), Roberts, Watson (3)
Goals: Sanderson 4 from 6
ALL GOLDS: Jack Mitchell; Mo Agoro, Phil Cowburn, Brad Kislingbury, Chris Barlow; Danny Fallon, Ben Stead; Chris Worrall, Steve Parry, Malikhi Lloyd-Jones; Harrison Elliott, Joe McClean; Billy Brickhill; SUBSTITUTES: Brad Hargreaves, Lewis Reece, Harry Kidd, James Walter
Tries: Agoro, McClean, Parry
Goals: Stead 3 from 4
0-4, 6-4, 10-4, 10-10, 10-12, 16-12, 20-12, 26-12, 32-12, 32-18
All Golds Man of the Match: Danny Fallon
Penalty count: 6-10
Referee: Callum Straw