Hunslet Hawks 30-22 Workington Town

Indifferent handling, particularly in the second period, and injuries to second-row Tom Curwen, centre Joseph Hambley and loose forward Perry Singleton, cost Workington dear in what was always going to be a potential banana-skin of a fixture.

Hunslet Hawks had, in the aftermath of the previous week’s shock defeat at Oxford, parted company with head coach James Coyle, the former Whitehaven boss, and his assistant Steve Deakin.

Another member of the Parksiders’ camp, Rob `Two Bobs’ Roberts, had been handed charge of the team until Hunslet’s board settle on a replacement – and Town head coach Dave Clark and his side were fully aware that any side, in any sport, playing in the aftermath of a coaching departure can be extremely dangerous.

Stand-off Carl Forber, Town’s outstanding figure, did well to not only tackle Hunslet’s Cameron Leeming when the centre broke from his own line in the early stages – he also snared possession, only for the resultant raid to come to nothing.

Subsequent possession, however, with Workington second-row Phil Joseph physically prominent, led to Fell going close on the right and when the ball was switched to the left, Forber and scrum-half Jamie Doran combined for winger John Patrick to twist over in the corner.

Town then lost Curwen, and the hosts levelled on 15 minutes when Jimmy Watson swept through attempted tackles by second-row Brett Phillips and Fell, Joe Sanderson adding the extras.

A penalty to Workington, who enjoyed a 7-1 advantage, allowed Stuart Howarth, Doran and Gabriel Fell to give centre Jason Mossop the chance to extend his scoring sequence to four games. Forber adding the extras from wide out two minutes shy of the half-hour.

Joseph, Hambley and Philip Lister forced a goal-line drop-out in bundling Watson over his own try-line and Hambley went very close to scoring in the next play, losing the ball under pressure from Watson at the corner flag.

Hambley, injured in the incident, was replaced by Kieran Mewse, and the half closed with Hunslet centre Cameron Leeming being penalised in possession for dissent, Doran’s last-tackle kick drifting dead.

A Town knock-on at the restart gifted Hunslet possession and the Parksiders made full use, bench hooker George Flanagan burrowing over from short range – emulating Mossop by scoring in four consecutive games - Sanderson adding the extras to put the Parksiders 12-10 up.

Phillips redeemed his missed tackle for the Watson try by pulling off a superb stop on Flanagan when the hooker broke through but a rare error by Joseph, who spilled the ball in trying to clear his own line, led to Leeming racing in, Sanderson again improving.

Town again spilled the ball under no pressure and, after Singleton had been helped off, Hunslet substitute Nyle Flynn charged over on 55 minutes and Sanderson improved.

Workington, applying pressure in response, went close when Joseph was held up, and valiantly forced their way back into the contest when a smart kick by Doran bounced perfectly for substitute Callum Phillips to collect and score under the posts on 61 minutes, Forber improving.

And, just three minutes later, Town were firmly back in the frame when prop Stevie Scholey passed superbly out of the tackle, close to the Hunslet line, for Mossop to grab his second try.

Mewse added the extras on this occasion to peg the Parksiders back to two points.

After Doran lost the ball 30 metres out from his own posts, four defenders bundled Leeming into touch near the flag in an example of committed defence, and Lister was then just unable to reach a Forber kick as the game hit the 73-minute mark.

But another penalty – four were awarded to Workington in the second period, and none to Hunslet – came to nothing when Doran knocked on.

That was the defining moment, the Parksiders working their way to the line for prop Lewis Reed to charge over, Sanderson again adding the extras to give Hunslet an eight-point lead with five minutes remaining, which they retained until the end.

Hunslet: Watson, Webb, Mvududu, Leeming, Nathanial, Sanderson, Ansell, Haley, Lee, Reed, Wilson, Mackay, Carbutt. Subs: Flanagan, Flynn, Coventry, Hesketh

Tries: Watson (15), Flanagan (42), Leeming (47), Flynn (55), Reed (75)

Goals: Sanderson 5

Town: Fell, Patrick, Hambley, Chamberlain, Mossop, Lister, Forber, Doran, Scholey, Howarth, Curwen, Phillips, Joseph, Singleton. Subs: Phillips, Fitzsimmons, Shelford, Mewse.

Tries: Patrick (8), Mossop (28, 64), Phillips (41)

Goals: Forber 2, Mewse,

Penalties: 1-7

Referee: T Owen

Attendance: 388

Half-time: 6-10

Star man: Carl Forber