Rochdale Hornets 28 Hunslet Hawks 18: Hawks open and close in style but suffer after mid-game dip

Two-try Hunslet Hawks tryscorer Richie Barnett.
Two-try Hunslet Hawks tryscorer Richie Barnett.
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HUNSLET Hawks failed to get off to a winning start in League One as fellow supporter-owned club, Rochdale Hornets, got on top at Spotland.

Hunslet were well in contention in the first half and it was they who opened the scoring after just two minutes, Myfaro Mvududu sending winger Richie Barnett over in the corner.

Rochdale levelled after 10 minutes but Hunslet took advantage of a penalty to go back in front, interchange hooker George Flanagan darting over from dummy half on 29 minutes. Simon Brown converted to make it 10-4.

Rochdale levelled with five minutes of the half remaining, but Hawks went into the break ahead Mo Agoro got on the end of Brown’s crossfield kick.

Just two minutes into the second period Jordan Case was sin binned for a high tackle on Jimmy Watson as he broke the line in support of Zach Johnson’s off-load.

Despite being a man down Rochdale were first to score in the second half, as they broke down the left edge with a great passing move, and Corey Lee kicked back inside for the on-rushing English to touchdown. Crook’s conversion edged them ahead by two points.

And Hornets were soon 22-14 up. Just after the hour Rochdale had a 14-point cushion.

Flanagan was sin binned for the away side for dissent but, just like the Hornets in the first half, Hunslet scored with 12 men, Jack Normington firing a long ball to Barnett, who eased over for his second try. Hunslet threw everything they could at the hosts, but Rochdale stood firm for the victory.

Rochdale: English, Riley, Taira, Johnson, Lee, Crook, Yates, Tahraoui, Moores, Thompson, Philbin, Case, Tilley. Subs: McClurg, Hadden, Biscomb, Evans.

Hunslet Hawks: Watson, Agoro, Duckworth, Mvududu, Barnett, Brown, Ansell, Haley, Lee, Reed, Crane, Normington, Williams. Subs: Flanagan, Bell, Carbutt, Johnson.

Attendance: 610.

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