Eagles scrape past plucky Parkside in Challenge Cup
Sheffield Eagles sealed their place in the fifth round of the Betfred Challenge Cup with a 20-40 victory over Hunslet Club Parkside at the South Leeds Stadium.
The scoreline certainly tells a different story to how the game panned out as Parkside were just two points behind their Championship counterparts with five minutes remaining.
However, a late purple patch for Sheffield saw them past the National Conference League outfit.
Mark Aston gave debuts to Matty Chrimes and Bayley Liu while also handing Ryan Johnson his first appearance of the season.
Ben Jones-Bishop started at full-back with Josh Guzdek partnering Izaac Farrell in the halves, due to the absence of Anthony Thackeray.
First blood went to a strong-starting Parkside as prop forward Jamie Fields slotted a penalty goal.
Liam Kirk got his first try of the season in response, unfortunately injuring Hunslet forward George Clarke in the progress by landing on his leg. Izaac added the extras.
Kieran Webster and Craig McShane both got on the scoresheet for the hosts with consecutive tries. One conversion from two attempts put Parkside 12-6 to the good.
Ryan Johnson and Jason Bass responded in kind as Sheffield restored their lead going into the half-time interval. Izaac successfully kicked one conversion, the Eagles ahead by four.
Half-time - Hunslet Club Parkside 12-16 Sheffield Eagles
The first set of the second ended in a converted try for Sheffield as Guzdek powered his way over on the last. He tagged on the two points, with Izaac now on the bench.
Guzdek’s afternoon was soon cut short as a shoulder injury put paid to his efforts.
Connor Squires was next over the whitewash for Parkside as they continued to be a thorn in Sheffield’s side. Fields’ conversion attempt landed short.
In the final quarter, Parkside looked visibly tired but with just six points between the sides they were giving it everything they got.
Their reward was a chance to level the scores with just five minutes remaining thanks to a try down the right wing. However, the conversion was wide of the mark but it was very much game on.
A knock-on from Parkside on the restart set gave Sheffield a good position to attack from and they put the game to bed with three tries in almost as many minutes.
Evan Hodgson, Jones-Bishop and Johnson all touched down and the returning Izaac added the easy conversions.
Full-time - Hunslet Club Parkside 20-40 Sheffield Eagles
The beauty of the Challenge Cup was certainly on show at the South Leeds Stadium, just not for anyone associated with Sheffield Eagles!
A brilliant effort from Hunslet Club Parkside and relief for the Eagles, who have their name in the hat for round five.
By Dan Fowler, photo by Alex Coleman