Hunslet Hawks 12 Swinton Lions 38: Dodd hat-trick leaves Hawks empty-handed

HUNSLET were fed to the Lions who avenged their Northern Rail Cup defeat, with scrum-half Ian Watson carving out chances galore through his shrewd kicking and handling.

The Hawks conceded seven tries, including a hat-trick by winger Gavin Dodd who also landed five goals.

Hunslet welcomed back Dennis Tuffour and Luke Helliwell after injury, while Luke Menzies left the bench to make his debut on loan from Batley, but Barry Eaton’s men never looked like repeating the victory they achieved over Swinton three months ago.

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Watson put in a shrewd kick to the posts for fellow half-back Martin Ainscough to open the scoring with the 100th try of his career, Dodd converting.

Elliot Hodgson’s timely interception prevented another try for the visitors and Dodd knocked on with the line at his mercy and Hunslet firmly on the back foot. Substitute Joe McLocklan made an immediate impact by starting the move that led to Helliwell sending second row John Oakes over for the Hawks.

Helliwell’s goal levelled the scores but two tries in rapid succession by Dodd and Kevin Penny just before the break put the Lions back in the ascendancy, Dodd improving Penny’s try.

Hunslet needed to hit back quickly but despite some strong forward play from Neil Lowe, Tommy Haughey and Andy Yates, the visitors stretched their lead with a carbon copy of Ainscough’s first-half try, Dodd’s goal taking the score to 22-6.

Any hope the Hawks had of avoiding defeat ended when Watson put Dale Cuniffe in for Swinton’s fifth try and then kicked to the corner for Dodd who converted his own try. McLocklan’s late touchdown for Hunslet had little impact and Dodd completed his hat-trick.

Hunslet Hawks: Hodgson; Kain, Brickwood, Lewis, Tuffour; Helliwell, Smith; Yates, Haigh, Benjafield, Haughey, Oakes, March. Substitutes: McLocklan, Menzies, Nathaniel, Lowe.

Swinton Lions: R Hawkyard; Dodd, Higson, Armstrong, Penny; Ainscough, Watson; Mills, Smith, Forster, Cuniffe, D Hawkyard, I’Anson. Substitutes: Morrison, Walker, Ashall, Riley.

Referee: R Laughton (Barnsley).