Hunslet v West Bowling: Professional attitude is key in Cup tie, insists Gary Thornton

PROFESSIONALISM IS the “key word” for Hunslet going into tomorrow’s Coral Challenge Cup third round clash with visitors West Bowling (3pm).

Gary Thornton.
Gary Thornton.

Coach Gary Thornton is confident his Betfred League One leaders have the tools to get the job done against the Bradford-based community club, who play in National Conference Division Two, but it could be a tense afternoon if they don’t approach it the right way.

West Bowling kicked off their Conference campaign with a 72-0 thrashing of Askam last weekend and Thornton said: “I have not had chance to look at them, but I know they are going to be decent opposition.

“They have got a couple of ex-pros, including one of our old boys Danny Halmshaw, so they have got some quality players and they will be well up for playing against a semi-professional team.

“We have got to make sure we respect West Bowling and don’t disrespect our own systems and gameplan and we stick to it.

“Professionalism is the key word, we have got to manage the game well and play our own game and at our own pace and do what we’ve been doing for the last few weeks.”

On recent form, Hunslet should be too strong, despite the absence of suspended half-back Danny Nicklas.

They boast League One’s only 100 per cent winning record, after victories at Doncaster and against West Wales and comfortably saw off Conference Premier Division champions Hunslet Club Parkside in the pre-season Yorkshire Cup.

“We’ve been making steady progression through pre-season and into the first two league games,” Thornton noted.

“We’ve been playing pretty well, our attacking structures look like they are working well and our defence has been pretty good – though we need to work on some of our goalline defence.

“Other than that, I am happy with where we are.”

Twelve Championship clubs will enter the competition when the fourth round draw is made at Odsal on Tuesday.

Thornton insisted: “Regardless of the competition we just want to be winning week-in and week-out.

“It breeds good habits and we want to keep that going and go as far as we can in this competition.”