Today was a great day for the Hiunslet Parkside team, but I’m going to start this with a moan. It wasn’t a great day for the club. Had this been my first Rugby League game rather than 25 years of watching the game in London, I doubt I’d return.
Everyone loves an underdog, and although I was hoping my team, Skolars, would win, I can’t be upset that Hunslet (Parkside) won, I am upset by the behaviour of a handful of their fans though. I went to a West Ham match before Christmas and sat, or rather was forced to stand behind a group of foul mouthed West Ham ‘fans’ – I use that word loosely. As soon as I realised where our tickets were, I knew that was likely to be the case, sadly it wasn’t a surprise. Call me a Southern Softie – as the away fans shouted out time and again at Skolars players, but I don’t go to a rugby match expecting to hear the same sort of language. Huge credit to long term Skolars/Broncos fan Steve who asked them to stop swearing to no avail. Rather than be thrilled by the winning performance of their team they were unpleasant, perhaps the happy hour was taken too much advantage off, but in a different environment, say Sheffield Eagles where Parkside go next, I can see real trouble kicking off if there’s a repeat. I’ve spent many happy hours amongst rugby league fans at many different grounds, today was very far from that.
On to the actual rugby, things started well for the home team when Fullback Jerome Yates scored in some style, an early 6 points on the scoreboard, those 6 points were to be Skolars first and last of the match.
Ollie Bloom, back at Skolars after some time away was forced to leave the field with an injury he picked up just before the try was scored, that brought another returnee on in the form of Ant Cox; It was good to see both back in Skolars colours.
Hunslet hit back quickly as Skolars lost the ball from the kick off, Jack Mcshane went over the line and the conversion from Jamie Fields was good to even up the scores, Skolars lead had lasted for a matter of minutes. Jake Dearden followed up with Parkside’s second try, the conversion was missed, but Parkside led and they kept that lead for the rest of the match. That lead was stretched by a successful penalty just before half time.
The second half was even for the first 20 minutes with neither side gaining an advantage, Skolars are going to have to work on completing their sets with ball in hand, the stats for the match would be very interesting to see, my gut feeling is not many sets of 6 were completed.
The National Conference League team Parkside made he most of the possession they had in the second half, with Elliot Morgan, Jack McShane and Omar Alrawi all going over to score, all 3 tries were converted and Hunslet Parkside had themselves a good cup win and a place in the fourth round against Sheffield Eagles. They were good for their win today, they deserved it, as is often the way I felt the touch judges could have taken more of a role, but there can be no complaints from Skolars.