Match report: Sheffield Eagles 36 Hunslet Hawks 26

Sheffield Eagles edged out Hunslet Hawks in their last ever match at the Don Valley Stadium.
Sheffield Eagles edged out Hunslet Hawks in their last ever match at the Don Valley Stadium.
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Sheffield Eagles were made to work hard before beating Hunslet Hawks 36-26 in their last ever league game at doomed Don Valley.

The stadium has been the Eagles home since 1990 but the party was put on hold as relegation threatened Hunslet took a 12-0 lead.

Eagles clawed their way back to their 15th straight victory in the Championship to stay in pole position going into a likely title decider at Featherstone Rovers next week.

Half-back Dominic Brambani kicked four goals to set a new club record for a season at 149 breaking Mark Aston’s total set in 1988-89.

Hawks caught the Eagles cold scoring with their first attack as winger Lee Mapels just got to a James Coyle chip kick. David March added the goal.

Eagles hit back forcing a couple of handling errors and a penalty with Menzie Yere twice just held short of the line.

Relentless pressure saw winger Waine Pryce forced back over the Hunslet try line after fielding a kick.

Two penalties blunted the Eagles charge and sloppy handling gave the Hawks a second set with March off loading on the line for Andrew Yates to crash over. March added the goal.

Sheffield finally opened their account on 23 minutes with Patch Walker and Michael Knowles sending Yere crashing over.

Eagles suffered a blow with skipper Mitch Stringer going off with an injury.

Two tries in as many minutes put the Eagles ahead. Back rower Michael Knowles jumped high to take a kick from Patch Walker and touch down and substitute hooker James Davey took a quick tap penalty before twisting over. Brambani kicked both goals to give the Eagles a 16-12 lead at half-time.

Hunslet drew level soon after the restart with Mapels first to a long kick in the left corner.

Davey took back the lead with a great solo try weaving past tacklers from 20 metres to touch down by the posts. Brambani added the goal.

Winger Vinny Finigan edged the Eagles further ahead taking an offload from Yere before forcing his way to the line.

Hunslet came back with March taking a quick before going over and then adding the goal to set up a nail biting final 20 minutes.

Eagles stepped up their game and were rewarded when fullback Quentin Laulu-Toagagae ghosted through a gap.

Brambani added the goal to set the new record for goals in a season.

Hunslet kept battling with Lee Brickwood knocking on as he went over the line.

Finningan’s second try after an interchange of passes between Walker and Knowles gave Eagles a cushion.

Hawks salvaged a vital bonus point with Mapels completing his hat-trick from a charge down four minutes from time.

*Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Finigan, Yere, Armstrong, Taulapapa; Walker, Brambani; Battye, Henderson, Stringer, Knowles, Straugheir, Szostak. Substitutes: Davey, Garside, Green, Higgins.