Hunslet plan to reclaim bragging rights

Gary Thornton.
Gary Thornton.
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HUNSLET WILL be determined to erase a painful memory when they play host to Hunslet Club Parkside in a pre-season game tomorrow (3pm).

Parkside snatched a shock win in last year’s fixture and though coach Gary Thornton was not at Hunslet then, he said the shadow of that defeat still hangs over the club.

Hunslet went on to endure a difficult year, finishing 10th in the table, though they did end on a high by winning the League One Shield.

“I don’t need reminding, it is something that has been spoken about quite a bit,” Thornton said of last year’s result against Hunslet’s National Conference neighbours.

“Fair play to Parkside, on the day they were the better team and they won the game.

“It’s something we want to strike off our record this year.

“We are looking to turn that around, but it is more about performance.

“We have got a big challenge ahead of us and this is just the next step.”

Parkside were due to begin their season against Valley Cougars in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup last weekend, but the Welsh side could not raise a team.

The amateurs, whose coaching staff includes Castleford Tigers star Paul McShane, have gone from the Pennine League to Conference top-flight, winning the Division Three, Two and One titles, in successive seasons and are also National Cup and Conference Trophy holders.

“It is going to be an interesting one,” Thornton added. “They are a really, really good side. They are probably the best side around in the community game and it’s a really good challenge – they will probably be as good as some teams in our league.”

Hunslet’s pre-season campaign began with a 30-6 loss at York City Knights last week, though they played better than the scoreline suggests.

“We need to be a bit more clinical, we created opportunities, but didn’t finish them,” Thornton said.

“We expected that, we expected to be a bit rusty. Defensively we were quite strong, though we clocked off a bit towards the end.

“We’re just looking to consolidate and improve in all areas.”