Hunslet Match Report
Bears make history, but five-try Hunslet blitz seals the game in the second half.
COVENTRY BEARS 20 HUNSLET 48
MIKE HYDE, Webb Ellis Road, Rugby, Warwickshire, Sunday
Photos Dave Jessop
History was made as the first game of semi-professional Rugby League unfolded at Webb Ellis Road in Rugby, the historical birthplace of the oval ball game.
For the Bears, it was another home game ‘on the road’, but there was a healthy crowd of well over 400,which gave the compact and enclosed Webb Ellis Road ground a great atmosphere.
A contingent of Hunslet supporters added a touch of green and orange to the crowd, while some had stayed on from a youth tournament in the morning.
Hunslet kicked off, and the Bears completed their first set, and they continued to push hard.
Their reward came after seven minutes as Chris Taylorweaved around the away defence before crossing over on the left of the field.
Elliott Hall made no mistake with the conversion to extend the lead to 6-0.
He then came close to furthering his position as league one’s second highest try scorer, but a high tackle stopped him in his tracks, but he gained a further two points with the ensuing penalty.
Hunslet were determined to get into the game and Tommy Ashton burst through a flat footed Coventry defence for a try, duly converted by Reece Dean
A few minutes later, his team-mate Tonks scored in similar fashion, powering through the home defenders, with the extras ensuing to put the away side in the lead 8-12.
Some strong attacking play by the visitors culminated in Potts planting the ball behind the line on the right wing.
Coventry were still determined to stay in contention, and Reece Rance’s thirty yard sprint and try, followed by Elliott Hall’s conversion narrowed Hunslets lead to two points.
But then Hunslet responded courtesy of Nathan Chappell with five minutes of the half remaining.
Following that closely fought first half, Hunslet came out guns blazing and pinned the Bearsin their own 25 yard line for ten minutes.
No score was forthcoming as the Bears defence stood firm, and then following a fumble there was a counter attack. Two passes later it was Hall adding to his tally having run the last fifty yards of the pitch.
Again the margin was back to just two points, 20-22, but then the game changed as Hunslet’s ruthless streak came out and Coventry were left floundering.
James Watson scored the visitors’ first try of the second half, and Man of the match Reece Dean scored their second five minutes later
The Bears were on the ropes as Gareth Potts crossed over for their third try of the half.
Next over was Dale Broomfield for the fourt, with Dane gettingthe afternoon’s final try, as the visitors ran away with the game.
A tense and evenly matched first half, and even the first part of the second half had given way to a powerful Hunslet performance which put their play off bid back on track.
Next Saturday, the Bears visit bottom placed West Wales Raiders, followed by a week’s break, and then a return to Rugby to play Keighley Cougars.
1 Elliott Hall
5 Errol carter
3 Hayden Freeman
4 Jacob Jones
2 Reece Rance
6 Cobi Green
7 Nathan Conroy
8 Lewis Taylor
9 Harvey Whiteley
10 Jack Ray
11 Kieran Sherratt
12 Sam Scott
13 Harry Kaufman
Subs (all used)
14 SteBradley Sheridan
15 Oliver purslow
16 Cameron Stewart
17 LawChris Barratt
Tries: Taylor(7), Rance (32) Hall (50)
1 James Watson
2 Gareth Potts
23 Nathan Chappell
3 Thomas Ashton
5 Dale Bloomfield
21 Reece Dean
7 Simon Brown
16 Zach Braham
20 Vila Halifhi
10 Adam Robinson
11 Josh Tonks
30 MaCharles Martin
13 Michael Emmett
Subs (all used)
32 Michael Haley
17 Daniel Hawksworth
31 Jon Luke Kirby
14 Ryan Wright
Tries: Ashton(20), Tonks(35), Potts(30,63) Chappell (36), Watson(57),Dean(59, 73), Broomfield (65),
Goals: Dean: 6/9
Man of the Match; Elliott Hall
Penalty count: 8-7
Referee: Tom Crashley
SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 8-0, 8-6, 8-12, 8-16, 14-16,14-22;
20-22, 20-26, 20-32, 20-38, 20-42, 20-48