COACH PAUL McShane was full of pride despite seeing Hunslet Club Parkside suffer their first defeat in 11 months.
The National Conference Premier Division champions lost only once last year, to Betfred League One side Workington Town in a Challenge Cup tie in February. They were beaten 34-4 by League One winners York City Knights in the Yorkshire Cup at Dewsbury’s Tetley’s Stadium, but it was Parkside’s first pre-season game and they have only recently returned to training.
“At half-time and after the game all the lads were buzzing with it,” said McShane. “It is not nice getting beaten, but we’ve come up against really good opposition and credit to our lads, they’ve had three training sessions leading into this.
“We’ve had three hours’ training since our Grand Final win last year and five middles missing from that team. We had some new lads, some from the seconds and some people who haven’t played for a few years. The lads who’ve come in have stepped up and given a good account of themselves, I can’t praise them enough.”
McShane added: “They [York] had some real good smarts, their short kicking game really paid dividends, but I thought we defended really well.
“I know they scored 34 points, but I thought our scramble defence was really good.
“We are thankful for being invited into the competition, we’ll be better for it and I think it’ll keep us grounded as well, having a loss.
“We’ll work on things now our pre-season has fully started, leading into a big year for us.”