Cup holders Miners Rangers exited the Conference Trophy at the first hurdle to an outstanding Hunslet Club Parkside outfit and with the 2014 champions West Hull also scalped just over the canal and only two other Premier sides remaining in the last sixteen the 2016 silverware is guaranteed a new name. In a match which ebbed and flowed, and which was delayed by almost an hour after Miners’ Brad Hargreaves sustained a frightening injury early in the second half, Parkside’s dominant pack set the platform for their victory as the outstanding Jamie Fields landed a touchline conversion to seal their thoroughly-deserved victory as they ensured a positive response to the departure of coach Paul McShane in midweek.
Miners always knew it was going to be hard against a side who had only lost three times in two seasons, and the scale of the challenge was evident in the early stages as Parkside scored inside five minutes when Jack Carville ran the inside line to Josh Murphy and forced his way over beside the posts, Fields goaling. However Miners battled back and some slick handling saw Andrew Groves link in to the line and put Jonny Youds over at the corner flag, Youds adding a fine conversion to his own try. On the half hour Miners carved out a narrow lead as Lee Gittins drove in out wide and 10-6 at the interval.
Three minutes into the second half and Hargreaves’ injury saw the game stopped for a lengthy period as medical staff from both clubs treated the stricken player until the emergency services were able to attend, and upon the resumption it was the visitors who seized the initiative as Luke O’Malley went in out wide and Rocky Price added the conversion. However Miners rallied and the see-saw nature of the game continued as the impressive Mark Nicholson drove to the line then offloaded for Matt Astley to score his maiden Miners’ try, Youds goaling. Back though came Parkside and now they seized the lead again just before the hour mark as Fields was unstoppable from close range, adding the extras himself. Once again the lead changed hands and with fifteen minutes remaining Miners were in the ascendancy as Scott O’Brien’s lofted kick was collected by Connor Ratcliffe to dive over the line, Youds putting the home side 22-18 in front. With seven minutes to go though the decisive score – although not the final drama – as Omar Al Rawri dived in at the corner flag and Fields landed the towering touchline conversion for that two point lead. With three minutes on the clock Miners had a lifeline as Adam Biscomb was sin-binned for stealing the ball but the resultant penalty was pulled wide of the sticks and Parkside could celebrate a deserved and famous victory.
Gamestar – Jamie Fields just edged a number of his team-mates with an inspired performance
Gamebreaker – Miners late penalty miss which would have produced the extra-time get-out-of-jail card for the hosts ensured Parkside’s win
Miners – Andrew Groves, Jamie King, Brad Hargreaves, Lee Gittins, Jonny Youds, Ian Mort, Scott O’Brien, Chris Bower, Tom Farrimond, Martin Gray, Sam Peet, Connor Ratcliffe, Danny Halliwell Subs – Darryl Kay, Mark Nicholson, Matt Astley, Jimmy Muir
Tries – Youds (14), Gittins (30), Astley (48), Ratcliffe (65)
Goals – Youds 3
MoM – Sam Peet
Parkside – Luke O’Malley, Omar Al Rawri, Mikey Waite, Pat Banks, Danny Harrison, Andrew Hullock, Rocky Price, Sam Thorpe, Josh Murphy, Jamie Fields, Kieran Murphy, Jack Carville, Jamie Bradley Subs – Jamie Bradley, Craig Miles, Jerome Malcolm, Adam Biscomb
Tries – Carville (5), O’Malley (45), Fields (55), Al Rawri (73)
Goals – Fields 3, Price
Sin Bin – Biscomb (77, stealing the ball)
MoM – Jamie Fields
Referee – James Jones