HUNSLET CLUB Parkside got what they deserved at the end of possibly the greatest season in amateur rugby league history.
Watched by their most famous product, dual code legend Jason Robinson, Parkside saw off a strong challenge from West Hull to secure a 26-18 success in the National Conference Premier Division Grand Final.
That came after they won all 22 of their league games to finish 14 points ahead of second placed West Hull, who they also beat in the qualifying semi-final.
Parkside, who have gone through all the Conference’s divisions as champions in successive years, didn’t have it all their own way in the final at Featherstone’s LD Nutrition Stadium.
Leading 14-2 at half-time, they were pegged back to a two-point lead in the third quarter before a strong finish got them home. Coach Paul McShane, who had played in Tigers’ Betfred Super League semi-final defeat at Wigan Warriors the day before, said: “Hull got back into it, but it showed the character of our lads, digging in and pulling it back towards the end. It was a special effort. We didn’t expect this at the start of the season, but the lads are pretty determined to be the best.”
Hunslet’s only defeat all year was to League One Workington Town in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup and they haven’t lost a league match since round four last season.
Ryan Wilson kicked West Hull ahead with an early penalty, but Jamie Fields rumbled over for the opening try, converted and booted a penalty before Jamie Bradley added a second try which Danny Rowse improved.
West Hull hit back with tries by Josh Nicklin and Jack Watts in the first 13 minutes of the second half, Wilson goaling the second, but Andy Hullock created scores for Ben Shulver and Connor Squires, Rowse adding a conversion and penalty before Watts scored a late consolation which Scott Partis improved.
Hunslet Club Parkside: McShane, Alrawi, Murphy, White, Squires, Hullock, Rowse, Pettman, Bradley, Fields, Shulver, Thompson, Foster. Subs: Harris, Clarke, Morgan, Miles.
West Hull: Hill, Moss, Watts, Lazenby, Nicklin, Nicklas, Partis, Wilson, Powley, Ellerington, Silk, Crowther, Steen. Subs: Spaven, Arbin, Cator, Tyson-Wilson.
Referee: Kevin Moore.