Cornwall RLFC


Hunslet 42 Cornwall 16 – Match Report

May 26, 2024

AJ Boardman in action against Hunslet – Rob Hare

Cornwall were defeated by third placed Hunslet although the scoreline flattered the hosts, who scored three converted tries inside the final 10 minutes to secure victory.

Until that late burst from Dean Muir’s side, profiting from Cameron Brown’s spell in the sinbin, Cornwall more than matched Hunslet in every department. And for context, the Parksiders’ last encounter saw them lower the colours of table toppers Keighley Cougars.  

Visiting head coach Mike Abbott made four changes from the starting line-up which took to the field against Oldham seven days ago. Both Brown and Harry Aaronson shook off groin and shoulder problems respectively to start while AJ Boardman, who saw his loan from Rochdale extended for a further two weeks on Thursday, started in the centre with Kyle Marvin (knee) missing out.

In the halves, Adam Rusling partnered with Bailey Black once more, as Nathan Conroy dropped to interchange along with Jake Lloyd, as David Weetman returned to lock the scrum down at loose forward.

On the bench, Cornwall handed a debut to Sam Campbell while Matt Ross replaced Courage Mkuhlani (dislocated shoulder) with the former London Skolars forward making a rapid recovery from a nasty leg knock, suffered in the defeat to Workington in late April.

For Hunslet, they named former Cornwall loan players Mackenzie Scurr and Will Adams in their starting line-up with the away side starting the game, played out under drizzly skies, in positive fashion.

After an early Hunslet chance which saw the ball knocked forward on the last with the line in sight, Cornwall were in complete control – both offensively and without the ball, too.

Rusling, who looked back to his very best after an injury-hit season to date, forced Hunslet to defend successive sets and after 10 minutes, another kick behind looked like it had resulted the opening score.

But merry whistle blower Tara Jones ruled that Coby Nichol had knocked the ball forward before he picked up to dot down.

However, just six minutes later, the Rusling/Nichol combination did pay dividends for the Choughs. On the fourth tackle, Rusling kicked into open ground and after outpacing Jack Render, Nichol picked up to score his third try of the season.

Brown was unable to convert from tight on the sideline and despite dominating possession, territory and the penalty count, Cornwall couldn’t add to their tally.

The hosts were perhaps fortunate not to lose Ethan O’Hanlon as the half hour approached when he appeared to hit Harry Aaronson with a crusher tackle. Referee Jones opted to put the incident on report after consulting with both merry flag wavers and as the interval approached, Brown was forced off for a head injury assessment which he did pass.

The game swung in Hunslet’s favour just before the interval when O’Hanlon went in under the sticks with the last play of the half and Matty Beharrall converted.

Somehow, Hunslet led after 40 minutes but within nine minutes of the restart, Cornwall were back in front.

Conroy, playing against one of his former clubs was the next Chough to cross the whitewash for his fourth try in five games. Brown tagged on the extra two points and the visitors led 10-6.

The Cornwall lead lasted just four minutes as Josh Jordan-Roberts scored his customary try against Cornwall before O’Hanlon bagged his second of the afternoon on the hour mark.

Less than 90 seconds later and the game seemed to be up for Cornwall when Jude Fereira plucked a Beharrell kick out the sky to finish well.

But Cornwall responded in kind with a magnificent try which saw Aaronosn pick up a loose ball and race clear. Drawing the cover defence, he found Black who scored his second try in Cornwall shirt. And with Brown converting, the Hunslet lead was just eight points.

The game then swung towards Hunslet 12 minutes from time when Brown was shown a yellow card by Jones for a high tackle on home full-back Jimmy Watson.

The call was marginal as Watson was falling when contact made and Hunslet took full advantage to press their advantage home.

Adams bagged a brace of tries to finally ensure another two competition points for Hunslet. The scoring was completed by Render when he matched the feat of Ferreira, in catching and scoring an aerial kick on the last tackle.  

Cornwall: Brown, Nichol, Small, Boardman, Aaronson, Black, Rusling, Rhodes, Collins, Boots, Cullen, Simpson, Weetman. Interchanges: (all used) Conroy, Lloyd, Campbell, Ross.

Tries: Nichol (16), Conroy (49), Black (64)

Goals: Brown 2/3

Sinbin: Brown (68) – high tackle

Hunslet: Watson, Scurr, Adamas, Ferreira, Render, Punton, Beharrell, Hallas, Whitmore, Knowles, Jordan-Roberts, Levy, Syme. Interchanges: (all used) Berry, Fletcher, O’Hanlon, Coventry.

Tries: O’Hanlon (39,59), Jordan-Roberts (53), Fereira (62), Adams (70, 77), Render (79)

Goals: Beharrell 7/7

Referee: Tara Jones