SECOND-ROW FORWARD Dyson Nicholson kicked Hunslet Warriors under-16s to glory in a thrilling Barla Yorkshire Cup final showdown with West Hull.
Warriors looked to be heading for defeat when a drop goal five minutes from time edged West Hull into a 7-6 lead at Hunslet Hawks’ South Leeds Stadium.
But with just seconds left Warriors were awarded a penalty, 45 metres out and close to the touchline, which Nicholson kicked to seal an 8-7 triumph.
“It was phenomenal,” said a jubilant Warriors coach Simon Peach.
“If he had missed we would have lost. Dyson kicked it and the ref blew for time.
“It was the best ending to a game I have ever seen – though the worst for them.”
Remarkably, Nicholson – who was named man of the match – had been off the field for a spell in the first half, due to a dead-leg.
“We were 6-0 up at half-time after Dyson scored a try on 20 minutes and Will Ingleby kicked the conversion,” Peach said.
“They scored a try and a goal in the second half and then got the drop goal.
“It was a tough game, 8-7 speaks volumes for the defence on both sides.
“It was a really hard slog, it was a boggy pitch and we had numerous chances, as did West Hull, but defences were really good.”
The county cup was the Warriors team’s first competition at under-16 level.
They finished second in the Yorkshire under-15s league, which concluded last month and were runners-up in the Leeds and District Cup, losing to Oulton Raiders in the final.
Super League clubs are already taking a close interest in the Hunslet youngsters, with four on Leeds Rhinos’ scholarship, a similar number at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, three with Wigan Warriors and one at Castleford Tigers.
“I think some of them will make it and Dyson is one of them,” Peach said.
“They have got plenty of potential and I hope they do.
“It is hard, but they are doing the right things and being at these [Super League] clubs will fetch them on even more.”
Meanwhile, there was disappointment for East Leeds under-12s, who were beaten 16-6 by Siddal in the Yorkshire Cup final.
Kippax defeated Drighlington 28-8 in the under-13s decider.