Date published: April 12, 2022
McNally scores a try for the Hornets against Hunslet
Rochdale Hornets scored nine tries for the second consecutive week en route to a 44-20 victory over Hunslet on Sunday April 10.
The win sees the Hornets move into third place at the start of the Betfred League 1 season, having scored 130 points in their opening three games.
However, it was the visitors who started the game the strongest of both teams, setting up deep plays in the Hornets’ half.
After a six-again call, by referee Michael Mannifield, Hunslet won a penalty and opted for a shot on goal.
Joseph Sanderson netted the kick to give Hunslet a 0-2 lead.
It wasn’t long before they added to their tally either.
Harvey Hallas broke Callum Marriott’s tackle, before finding Sanderson running under the posts.
The stalemate converted his own kick to leave the Hornets plenty of work to do.
However, Matt Calland’s side fought back around three minutes later with Paul Brearley scoring his first league outing of the season.
Moments after Sheridan added the extras, the Hornets were back on after Aiden Roden’s clean break gave Rochdale a threatening position on the pitch.
From there, Rangi Chase weighed his options and found Zac Baker who dived to give the Hornets a 10-8 lead after 15 minutes.
Jack Render followed with a try for the visitors, which was quickly canceled out by Baker’s second try of the afternoon – the second line passing close range.
Sheridan netted the kick to move the Hornets into the lead again.
Ethan O’Hanon’s dissent after the conversion meant that Hunslet was down to 12 men for the next 10 minutes.
The hosts capitalized on that advantage almost immediately with Ben O’Keefe for his first Hornets score before Sheridan had his own try with typically slick footwork.
That gave the Hornets a 12-point lead heading into the break.
O’Keefe, playing his first game since signing for the club, and Sheridan would continue to be influential early in the second half.
A line break from the loanee from Wigan Warriors, followed by a superb offload, set Sheridan up for his second try which would go on to add the extras.
With 53 minutes on the clock, it was then O’Keefe’s turn to add to his try tally as the Hornets took a 36-14 lead.
As the game began to drift away from Hunslet, frustrations began to seep in, with James Watson being booked for a shoulder charge on Dan Nixon.
Things took a turn for the worse for the Kilshaw side when Kiedan Hartley received a red card for two consecutive dissents, towards referee Mannifield.
The Hornets once again took advantage of the man advantage with Gregg McNally and Ben Forster coming in late, to give more space between the two teams.
Hunslet fought back with a consolation try just before the whistle, Watson crossing the whitewash to make the final score 44-20.
The win is the Hornets’ second in as many games, and they will be desperate to make it three in a row when they host local rivals Oldham on Friday April 15 (3pm kick-off).
Hornets: McNally, Nixon, O’Keefe, Calland, Tyrer, Chase, Sheridan; Bennion, Roden, Marriott, Baker, Forster, Brearley.
Exchanges: Moi Moi, Penkywicz, Killan, Taira.
Tries: Brearley (14′), Baker (15′, 23′), O’Keefe (25′ 53′), Sheridan (29′, 44′), McNally (72′), Forster (74′).
Goals: Sheridan 4/8, Chase 0/1.
Hunslet: Watson, Reittie, Render, Mossop, Hartley, Sanderson, Mallinson; Hallas, Witeley, Moran, Jordan-Roberts, Carr, Syme.
Exchanges: Berry, O’Hanon, Stableford, Moorhouse.
Tries: Sanderson (11′), Render (19′), Watson (80′).
Goals: Sanderson, 4/4.