Hunslet 12 Leigh 19: McShane shines but Hunslet beaten again

LEEDS Rhinos’ Paul McShane had a lively Hunslet debut on dual-registration but he couldn’t prevent his new team-mates from completing three months without a win.

The Hawks’ last victory was back on April 28 against York and, although they matched Northern Rail Cup winners Leigh for long spells yesterday, their losing sequence was still extended to 11 matches.

It took the high-flying visitors 28 minutes to break the Hawks’ resistance, excellent passing between Sean Penkywicz, Martyn Ridyard and Ryan Brierley opening the way for Andy Thornley to score near the posts, Ridyard adding the goal.

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McShane was at the hub of Hunslet’s best moves, while his Rhinos colleague Jimmy Keinhorst put in a tremendous tackling stint.

The visitors were stunned in the 37th minute when Lee Brickwood raced on to Matthew Tebb’s pass and broke through two attempted tackles to touch down, McShane registering his first points for the Hawks with the successful conversion.

However, on the stroke of half-time, Leigh restored their six-point lead when winger Steve Maden barged over and Ridyard tagged on the goal.

Then, eight minutes after the break, John Pownall punished a rare handling mistake by full back Stuart Kain to grab Leigh’s third try. Ridyard’s kick struck the far upright but he later landed a penalty.

The Hawks lost Jake Normington with a suspected fractured cheekbone just after the hour but Lee Mapals gathered McShane’s kick to grab their second try, McShane converting to reduce the deficit.

However, Leigh had the last word, 
Brierley landing a drop goal to make the winning margin seven points.

Hunslet Hawks: Kain, Pryce, Normington, Keinhorst, Mapals, March, Coyle, Yates, McShane, Houston, Haughey, Oakes, Clough. Substitutes: Tebb, Menzies, Welham, Brickwood.

Leigh Centurions: McNally, Maden, Littler, Gardner, Pownall, Ridyard, Brierley, Ostick, Bewsick, Parker, Thornley, Burke, Briscoe. Substitutes: Penkywicz, Spencer, Bate, 

Referee: Gareth Hewer.