Hunslet Warriors share spoils from East Leeds thriller

Richard Wheelhouse was Hunslet Warriors' man of the match at East Leeds. Picture: Ainsley Bennett
Richard Wheelhouse was Hunslet Warriors' man of the match at East Leeds. Picture: Ainsley Bennett

Hunslet Warriors shared the spoils from their opening National Conference Division One game of the season when they drew 20-20 in a thriller at East Leeds.

The Warriors battled back from 12-4 down to go 20-12 ahead with half an hour remaining, only for East Leeds to peg them back with a try and a penalty goal in the final quarter.

Hunslet went on the attack straight from the kick-off and they drew first blood when Lee West dotted down in the right corner. Richard Wheelhouse missed the difficult touchline conversion.

The momentum shifted at the 20-minute mark when East Leeds went in for two tries in the space of four minutes.

David Nurse twisted out of a tackle to plant the ball down and an inside pass from Ryan Gaunt opened up the space for James Forsell to surge through a gap to score.

Declan Tomlinson, who had a perfect afternoon with the boot, made it 12-4 but the Warriors finished the first-half the stronger.

The home side had their line breached for the second time when Hunslet captain Caldon Bravo breezed through a huge hole to reduce the arrears to two when Wheelhouse converted.

Hunslet picked up where they left off in the first-half to go 20-12 ahead in the opening 10 minutes of the second 40 with two well-worked tries.

The Warriors repelled East Leeds in the first few minutes, but Wheelhouse was sharp out of dummy-half to exploit space behind the ruck and send Luke Day under the posts.

Daryl Gaunt then got on the scoresheet when his kick down the right side was hacked forward by West and Gaunt was on hand to increase the away side’s lead.

The deficit was cut to two points when Mark Greenwood plucked Ryan Gaunt’s kick out of the air to plunge over in the right corner. Declan Tomlinson added the extra two points.

East Leeds lost Luke Tomlinson to the sin bin on the hour during an altercation between the two teams, but five minutes from full-time, Declan Tomlinson squared it all up when an East Leeds man was tugged back while on the attack.

Kane Riley saw his drop-goal attempt drift wide a couple of minutes later and Gale had an effort for one point charged down by the onrushing defence from the hosts with seconds left.