Hunslet Old Boys 17 Widnes West Bank 16

First published in Sport

The season came down on the West Bank club’s season with a heart breaking defeat in the Rugby League Challenge Cup. Having come through the qualifying rounds with a comprehensive win at Stanningley and then by means of a disappointing concession by high flying Egremont the Bears travelled to Leeds not knowing what to expect from their Pennine League premier division opposition.

Despite it having been over a month since seeing action the Bank soon got back into the groove with pummelling defence rocking the much bigger home side to their foundations. With West Bank in the ascendancy Paul Curphey’s effort put the visitors in the lead, converted by Ste Mellor, but this was soon levelled by Dan Harrison.

West Bank took a 10-6 half time lead with Richard Hughes crossing.

The Bears first half efforts were lead by a superb performance from Tommy Arrowsmith and an early match ending injury to Ryan Bates saw the reintroduction of Sean Gilmore after his stint with Rockingham Sharks of Western Australia.

Hunslet hit back to level the scores again through Richard Hazlewood but the excellent Josh Simm restored West Bank’s six point lead with seven minutes left after Arrowsmith added the extras.

The Old Boys forced the game into golden point extra time when Melvyn Brown chased his own kick through to score and Price converted.

The early minutes of extra time saw clean breaks from Greg Pichilingi but the cloying conditions meant they couldn’t be finished off. A couple of drop goal attempts were stymied by the mud which left Hunslet with possession and Price’s drop goal soared through to seal the win.

Without their two top try scorers the Bank lacked a little fire power that could have seen them overcome the tiredness brought on by the lack of match practice.

The players can now enjoy a little rest before training for next year’s campaign starts in mid-January.

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