Workington Town’s 32-24 success yesterday was their third win at South Leeds Stadium this year, including a victory in the 1895 Cup and Hunslet’s ninth home defeat in 13 meetings with semi-professional opposition. Considering they have won eight out of 10 on their travels, Hunslet would have fancied their chances of going all the way had they got through yesterday’s tie.
Hunslet made the worst possible start, Town’s Gordon Maudling scoring after just 58 seconds. Carl Forber landed the first of his perfect five conversions, but the Parksiders had the better of a see-sawing first half to lead 24-18 at the break.
Strong-running centre Tom Ashton crashed over for an unconverted try on Hunslet’s first attack, after six minutes and though Stevie Scholey increased Town’s lead, Hunslet replied when Michael Haley reacted quickly to collect Simon Brown’s kick and send Ryan Wright over and were ahead after Ashton crashed on to Jimmy Watson’s pass for his second.
The lead changed hands again when Sean Penkywicz touched down his own kick from acting-half, but Watson crossed off a one-two with Reece Chapman-Smith, Joe Sanderson landed his third conversion and then added a penalty after the hooter.
Town levelled 13 minutes into the second half through veteran former New Zealand and Tonga Test forward Fuifui Moimoi, who will turn 40 later this month and Forber kicked an angled penalty in the 59th minute to nudge them ahead for the third time.
Charlie Martin went agonisingly close to scoring for Hunslet, but fumbled a Gareth Potts pass on the line and Town sealed it in the next set, Penkywicz nipping over from acting-half.
Forber’s conversion put two scores between the teams and left Hunslet with too much to do.
Hunslet: Watson, Potts, Martin, Ashton, Chapman-Smith, Sanderson, Brown, Andrade, Halafihi, Robinson, Tonks, Straugheir, Braham. Subs Wright, Emmett, Haley, Hema.
Workington Town: Bolton, Maudling, Barnes, Singleton, Walsh, Doran, Forbert, Dawson, Penkywicz, Moimoi, Scholey, Tickle, O’Donnell. Used subs Curwen, Hopkins. Unused Lancaster, Marwood.
Referee: T Grant (Leeds).