Unlucky Hunslet edged out in Wales

Hunslet's Liam Mackay.
Hunslet's Liam Mackay.

Leaders Hunslet suffered their first defeat in the League One Shield when they went down 20-12 in a close contest away to third-placed North Wales Crusaders.

They were behind from early on after the Welsh outfit got off to a quick start with Simon Atherton opening the scoring inside four minutes after finding a gap in the visitors’ defence.

An end-to-end affair followed and after Danny Price had a length of the field effort chalked off for a knock-on over the line it was Hunslet’s turn to see a try ruled out for a knock-on.

Another chance followed, though, and this time there was no mistake as a great offload gave Joe Sanderson the chance to charge over.

Back came the Crusaders and Aaron Moore’s solo effort gave them a 10-6 lead going into the break.

The hosts extended their lead just after the hour mark as Tommy Johnson powered through.

Hunslet were unlucky again as James Duckworth crossed in the corner but dropped the ball before he could ground.

Johnson’s penalty made it 18-6 before the visitors set up a tense finish as Liam Mackay raced through a gap in the Crusaders defence to score. Sanderson’s second goal reduced the deficit to just six points, but the Crusaders put the game to bed when Johnson kicked another penalty.

Hunslet are back at home this Saturday when they host Gloucestershire All Golds (3pm).