Hunslet secure promotion in golden point extra time

Hunslet secured promotion to the Championship in the most dramatic fashion, defeating Oldham 17-16 after golden point extra time.

Thomas Coyle‘s one-pointer settled a gripping game at Headingley, which was locked at 16-all at the hooter, to condemn the unlucky Roughyeds to their sixth Grand Final defeat in eight years.

Oldham had led 10-6 at half time, but trailed deep in to the second half, until Danny Langtree‘s determined converted try forced the most dramatic of conclusions.

It was a fantastic advert for the third tier that got better as time went on.

Oldham drew first blood through Steven Roper inside five minutes, although the remainder of the first quarter turned in to a real arm wrestle, with both sides making errors that made it difficult for either to force field position.

Former Leeds full-back Jimmy Watson got the Hawks on the board on 23 minutes, finishing off a neat move to level the score at 6-6, but it was the Roughyeds that would take a lead in to half time, and in some style.

Roper’s kick to the corner was plucked out of the air by centre Jon Ford, who somehow managed to get an offload away under the attention of three defenders for Dale Bloomfield to touch down.

Hunslet stepped it up in the second half, and sought control of the game. James Duckworth had the scores level within six minutes of the restart, and thanks to the kicking of Coyle, the Hawks had Oldham where they wanted them.

It was Coyle, named man of the match, who gave them the lead for the first time too, taking the ball at first receiver and running a fine angle through a gap, and past the full-back to go over under the posts.

David March converted, and Hunslet led 16-10. Oldham slowly worked their way back in to the arm wrestle, but struggled to gain quality possession at the Hunslet end.

The Hawks, meanwhile, threatened a couple of times at the other end, although a signal of their intentions came when half-back Danny Ansell knocked a drop goal attempt just wide.

Oldham continued to work hard and they got their reward six minutes from the end. Langtree took an inside pass from Roper, and carried three defenders over the line before getting the ball down, and Roper’s conversion levelled the score at 16-16.

The crowd were now gripped by the tension, nonemoreso than when Ansell struck a drop goal back off the upright, and time ticked on and the hooter sounded.

That took us to golden point extra time, and after both he and Roper had missed from long range, Coyle finally decided matters with a well-taken drop goal after a crucial break down the middle by another former Leeds man, Liam Hood.

Hunslet now take their place in the 12-team Championship for 2015.

Hunslet: Watson, Duffy, Maun, Brickwood, Duckworth, T Coyle, Ansell, Moore, March, Houston, Oakes, Lyons, Briscoe. Subs: Hood, Haley, Kain, Hardbottle.

Oldham: Nield, Clay, Cookson, Ford, Bloomfield, Palfrey, Roper, Joy, Owen, Boults, Crowley, Langtree, Thompson. Subs: Ward, Mason, Hughes, Tyson.

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