7th October 2018, 15:25 | ncl
Hunslet Club Parkside finished off a 'perfect' season with a 26-18 win over West Hull in the 2018 NCL Grand Final.
The South Leeds outfit won every league and play-off game they played in 2018, an unmatched achievement to date.
Earlier on in the day, north Leeds side Milford Marlins narrowly missed out on promotion to the Premier Division for the second season running, losing out to Leigh Miners Rangers in golden point extra time by 22-26.
Topping the Premier Division by a clear 14 points and undefeated in all 22 league games plus victory over the same opponents in the qualifying semi-final a couple of weeks ago, Saturday’s victory made it a perfect season, following on from having topped each Division of the NCL for four successive seasons, a truly remarkable achievement for the south Leeds outfit!
In Saturday’s final West Hull took an early lead with a penalty on 11 mins, but that lead was short-lived as Andy Hullock sent prop forward and skipper Jamie Fields over for a trade mark try a couple of minutes later, grounding the ball under the posts despite attention from a number of defenders. Jamie converted his own try and also added a penalty for a ball steal on 21 mins to take the score to 8–2.
The second try of the first half went to one of the side’s star performers on the day No 9, Jamie Bradley who drove over from short range on 38 mins, this time converted by Danny Rowse. A well deserved first half lead of 14-2 was built on solid defence across the team, not allowing their opponents to add to their early penalty, and a massive effort from the whole forward pack who continually made the hard yards to dominate the battle up front.
The third quarter belonged to determined opponents West Hull who scored two tries to bring the score to 14-12, but Hunslet Club Parkside’s ascendancy was restored on 67 mins when second row Ben Shulver latched onto a beautifully delayed pass from Man of the Match Andy Hullock to gallop over the line from 10 metres out. Danny Rowse’s conversion attempt shaded a post but 18-12 soon became 24-12 when a perfectly weighted kick from Hullock put Connor Squires over out wide. Rowse converted this time and added a penalty goal to take the score to 26-12. West Hull completed the scoring with a well worked try converted from the touchline with only two minutes to go, but that score failed to take any of the gloss off a well-deserved victory.
Hunslet Club Parkside: Craig McShane, OmarAlrawi, Kieran Murphy, Michael Waite, Connor Squires, Andy Hullock, Danny Rowse, Luke Pettman, Jamie Bradley, Jamie Fields, Ben Shulver, Liam Thompson, Craig Miles. Subs: Dale Harris, George Clarke, Elliot Morgan, Wayne Foster.
West Hull: Nathan Hill, Luke Moss, Jack Watts, Jack Lazenby, Josh Nicklin, Danny Nicklas, Scott Partis, Ryan Wilson, Nathan Powley, Oscar Ellerington, Zeus Silk, Louis Crowther, Ryan Steen. Subs: Scott Spaven, Ben Arbon, Lee Cator, Bobby Tyson-Wilson.
Man of the Match: Andy Hullock
Referee: Kevin Moore