HALIFAX broke Hunslet hearts after a last-play Paul White try denied the Hawks side a share of the spoils at the Shay.
White scored in stoppage time to break an 18-18 deadlock and leave Paul March’s battlers empty handed.
The visitors had fallen behind after only nine minutes when Halifax’s young loose forward Jacob Fairbank powered over on the right after a sweet inside ball from the Australian scrum-half Ben Black, Danny Jones converting.
The home side continued to press, and went close to a second score when another Australian, the centre Dylan Nash, sparked a move that saw full-back Miles Greenwood called back for a forward pass.
The Hawks came more and more into the contest as the half wore on though and piled on the pressure as the 30-minute mark approached, forcing three back to back sets on the Halifax line.
The breakthrough refused to come, but when stand-off Danny Grimshaw picked off Black’s kick in the 33rd minute and raced almost the length of the field for a spectacular score, the other Danny – half back Ratcliffe – levelled the scores at 6-6 with the conversion.
Halifax regained the lead just before the break, Black scoring in the corner after a fumble from the Hawks’ wingman Dennis Tuffour, but it was too far out for Jones to add the extras and the teams went to the break at 10-6.
But Hawks made a stunning start to the second period, Paul March scoring from close range and Richie Barnett finishing a great pass from Grimshaw.
Halifax drew level when winger Rob Worrincy scored on 63 minutes, leaving the game poised at 14-14.
The home side took the lead through Danny Jones’ penalty, before Ratcliffe’s late try put the Hawks ahead at 18-16 going into the closing minutes.
But another penalty, straight from the restart, allowed Jones to level matters before White turned the game on its head.
Halifax: Greenwood; White, Paterson, Nash, Worrincy; Jones, Black; Gannon, Beswick, Cherryholme, Barlow, Bannister, Fairbank. Subs: Aizue, Smith, Bowman, Dudson.
Hunslet Hawks: Kain; Tuffour, Barnett, Clayton, Pryce; Grimshaw, Ratcliffe; Sullivan, Haigh, Helme, Oakes, Haughey, March. Subs: March, Lowe, Yates, Hall.
Referee: Clint Sharrad (Manchester).