Hunslet Match Report
Coventry Bears v Hunslet RLFC Match Report
Bears ‘best ever’ performance ends season on a high note.
Coventry Bears 14 Hunslet RLFC 4 Butts Park Arena Coventry Saturday
Report by Mike Hyde and Photography David Jessop.
Long established Northern outfit Hunslet came into this match knowing that a good victory would put them in a with a chance of making the play-offs, they reckoned on a 20 or 30 point victory to see them through.
But it was our own Coventry Bears who dominated the game in what was their most complete, all round 80 minute performance since joining the semi-pro ranks, giving them a well deserved victory over a side which had consistently outclassed them over the past four years every time they met .
The Bears kicked off, but their opponents were soon on the offensive, pressing hard in the first two minutes and coming close to opening the scoring. However, the Bears defence held firm for the first of what was to be many occasions in a well drilled and disciplined performance.
On five minutes, a Ben Stead kick was mis-handled by the visitors, and Chris Barratt gratefully scooped up the ball to score for the Bears. Stead added the extras and it was an early 6-0 lead, to the delight of nearly four hundred spectators .
Hunslet were determined to get back in the game and Mufaro Mvududu was held up over the line by a spirited Bears defence. The Hunslet attacks continued, pinning the Bears in their own half, but unable to break through.
At times it seemed Stead’s kicking was the only way of getting the ball into the Hunslet half, but the away side still couldn’t reply, with their most promising move breaking down as the ball was dropped.
Their frustrations started to show as Gavin Duffy was sin binned five minutes before the hooter. Still Hunslet attacked but yet again were held up over the line, with Coventry’s counter attack almost extending the gap but a forward pass was judged to have taken place so the score remained at 6-0, to thje disappointment and frustration of the fans.
The second half started with the now familiar pattern of persistent Hunslet attacks and dogged Bears defending. Finally the defence was breached on the fiftieth minute by Daley Williams and Hunslet were back in the game, despite Thomas Brierley missing the conversion. This was a critical time for the Bears who had to keep their heads up and give the game all they had. And they did just that.
There was now a stalemate in what had become a very tight game, and when Hunslet’s David Foggin-Johnston was sin-binned, Bears’ Stead elected to go for two points in the resulting free kick to nudge his side to a four point lead.
The Bears then entered into a period of attacking and the pendulum edged their way as a neat Stead kick was capitalised on by Ben Gray for a try, with Stead completing what he had started with a successful conversion.
Again frustrations started to show in the final throes of the game became bad-tempered as Hunslet tried to claw their way back into the game.
Minutes went by agonisingly slowly but the Bears defence stayed resolute and the score stayed the same.
The final hooter signalled the end of the season with a win for the Bears, a good win, a deserved win, and a fitting sendoff for James Guertjens and Conor Kelly who have both given so much to the club.
Bears’ Head Coach Tom Tsang paid tribute after the match:
‘That was a win built on defence, they did everything right today. This performance has been coming for a while and now its happened, it was our best ever game.
I am proud of the lads and pleased for the supporters. Hunslet came down here as promotion candidates and we beat them, just like we beat Keighley and almost did it against Whitehaven last week.We can now really look forward to next season as the team continues to improve’.
1 Jason Bass
2 Dante Morley Samuels
3 Hayden Freeman
21 Kameron Pearce-Paul
5 Reece Rance
6 Bradley Sheridan
7 Ben Stead
8 Dan Gover
11 Kieran Sherratt
10 Peter Ryan
14 Ben Gray
12 Chris Barratt
13 Harry Kaufman
Subs (all used)
14 Errol Carter
10 James Guertjens
15 Malikhi Lloyd-Jones
9 Liam Rice-Wilson
Tries: Barratt (5), Gray (69)
Goals: Stead 3/3
38 Thomas Brierley
2 David Foggin-Johnston
36 Daley Williams
4 Mufaro Mvududu
41 Gavin Duffy
3 Daniel Grimshaw
37 Ryan Wright
13 Mathew Nicholson
9 Jack Lee
10 Lewis Reed
29 Duane Straugheir
33 Josh Tonks
15 Bradley Foster
Subs (all used)
17 Nyle Flynn
8 Michael Haley
16 Daniel Halmshaw
11 Liam Mackay
Tries: Williams (50)
Goals: Brierley 0/1
Sinbin: Duffy (35), Foggin-Johnston (53)
Penalty count: 10-7
Referee: S Rice
SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0; 6-4, 8-4,14-4