John Mooney: West Hull v Hunslet Club Parkside
West Hull Pay The Penalty
West Hull failed to prevent Hunslet Club Parkside from maintaining their 100% record in the NCL Premier Division at North Road - but only just! Wests outscored the opposition by four tries to three with a superb second-half display but a trio of successful penalties saw the visitors scramble home 24-22.
In what is best described as a 'feisty' encounter, dominated at times by the referee's whistle, the Green and Golds were always chasing the game after canny half-back Dale Harris surprised the home side's defence after just a few minutes, crashing through three would-be tacklers to give his side an early lead. With skipper Jamie Field adding the extra, then kicking a penalty to make it 8-0, Wests were always up against it against a team who had conceded less than eight points a game in their opening eleven matches. The loss of Scott Partis through injury disrupted the home attack though Richard Wilkinson stepped in and looked a likely as anyone to score, but despite having enough of the ball, the home side couldn't break down a well organised Parkside who went into half-time with what looked a comfortable lead.
However, as we saw against Rochdale Mayfield last week, Wests generally come out all guns blazing in the second period, with Jack Watts and Nathan Powley leading the way, and got on the scoresheet when Ryan Steen blasted his way past three defenders to plant the ball over the line, close enough for Ryan Wilson to convert and it was game on - but not for long! Field then scored a trademark try, taking four defenders with him as he crashed over from close range. The giant prop added the extras and it was back to an eight-point gap until Wilkinson squeezed over in the corner, just too far out for Ryan Wilson to convert.
Another Field penalty, again for dissent, took the visitors into a six-point lead which they promptly doubled with the try of the match. A fortunate bounce from the restart saw young fullback Craig McShane sprint away from his own line and, when caught on West's 25-yard line, produced a wonderfully-weighted kick for Andy Hullock to follow-up and score, close enough for the conversion. Wests now needed something special and Wilkinson came up with an excellent try, close enough for Scott Spaven to convert but yet another close-range penalty to the visitors took them eight points clear again. Once again the home side came back and Jack Lazenby's four-pointer was converted to six and a grandstand finish looked on the cards, especially as Parkside were down to twelve after Michael Waite was dismissed. Unfortunately for Wests, the visitors just had too much know-how for them, slowing the game down in the middle of the park and stifling their ambitions. It's now a 'perfect twelve' for the South Leeds club but Wests remain sixth with games in hand over all opponents.
Myton Warriors remain bottom despite a tremendous 24-18 victory over Rochdale Mayfield in Lancashire, setting up what promises to be a cracking Derby at Cranbrook Ave in a game televised on Freesports next week. In Division One, Skirlaugh had a good win against Oulton Raiders at Eastfield, running out 32-10 winners, but Dockers faced a long journey home after losing 36-22 at Drighlington in Division Two. Beverley maintained their 100% record in Division Three with a 90-0 drubbing of Waterhead Warriors.