Though York, who won the Betfred League One title last year, were always in control, Parkside showed impressive resilience to restrict them to six tries, three in each half.
Hunslet, coached by Castleford Tigers hooker Paul McShane, went through the National Conference Premier Division unbeaten last year, but were without several members of their Grand Final-winning line-up and had only three training sessions before the game. However, they dug deep in defence and had the satisfaction of scoring the game’s final try.
They were under the cosh in the first half, going in at the interval 18-0 down, but had spells of pressure in the second 40 and avoided a whitewash when Kieran Murphy touched down, following Michael Hoyle’s break, with four minutes left.
York coach James Ford paid respect to Parkside by fielding a strong team and they had too much pace and knowhow, especially out wide, with former Hull KR full-back Matty Marsh and forward David Petersen, signed the day before the game, both impressing. Marsh scored York’s first and third tries, either side of Perry Whiteley’s touchdown and at 18-0 after 23 minutes it looked like being a long afternoon for Parkside.
But the Championship outfit’s next try did not come until the 43rd minute, through Brad Hey and they added only two more, on the hour when Marcus Stock completed a fine move and Hey’s second with eight minutes left. Connor Robinson kicked five goals.
Hunslet Club Parkside: McShane, Squires, Murphy, Waite, Hoyle, Hullock, Rowse, Foster, Murphy, Stanley, Shulver, Thompson, Morgan. Substitutes:: Wheeler, Healy, Elliott, Boyce, York, Biscomb, Cunningham.
York City Knights: Marsh, Mazive, Bass, Whiteley, A Robinson, Cockayne, C Robinson, Dixon, Jubb, Teanby, Salter, Jordan-Roberts, Petersen. Substitutes: Stock, Horne, Hey, Carter, Blagbrough, Rushworth, Brown.
Referee: T Crashley (Wakefield).