Hunslet Hawks head coach Barry Eaton was delighted with the “pride, passion and sheer determination” showed by his players during their 30-16 win over Whitehaven yesterday.
The result was just Hunslet’s second victory in 14 games but yesterday’s win, coupled with Batley Bulldogs’ defeat to Featherstone, means they are still in the fight for survival in the Championship.
They remain in 11th place but are just four points behind the Bulldogs with three games left to play, including a trip to Batley on the final day of the season.
Hunslet took the lead in the first minute through Matty Gee and their lead was stretched by Aaron Lyons to put the Hawks 10-0 up after eight minutes.
Whitehaven hit back through Ed Chamberlain but Mark Castle restored Hunslet’s 10-point advantage just before the break. The Cumbrians scored shortly after the start of the second half through Owain Griffiths but George Flanagan and James Duckworth both crossed the line with Simon Brown adding a late penalty to give Eaton’s side their second win in a row.
“I said at the start of the year if we were lucky to stay up it would be a bigger achievement than actually being promoted,” Eaton said. “The boys are showing that they are giving it their all and in three weeks we’ll find out where we’ll be.
“Pride, passion and sheer determination got us that result. We were without 10 players for the game and we picked up six injuries on the day. But those players carried on and they epitomise the spirit we are showing at the moment.”
Whitehaven: Chamberlain, Burns, Taylor, Parker, Holliday; Coyle, Gore; Beaumont, Newton, Quinn, Aiye, Brooks, Davies. Subs: Griffiths, Chapelhow, Robinson, Wilde.
Hunslet: Watson, Agoro, Duckworth, Maun, Barnett; Brown, Ansell; Houston, Lee, Lyons, Gee, Backhouse, Trout. Subs: Flanagan, Brennan, Castle, Reed.
Referee: Dave Merrick (RFL).