Sparkling Sherwood Wolf Hunt stunned top-of-the-table Birmingham Bulldogs by storming to a 64-32 victory in the Midlands Premier Division of the Rugby League Conference.
The Mansfield-based side never looked back after opening the game with arguably their best try of the season so far. Quick play from Anthony Symcox and Ben Lee allowed Al Symcox enough space to release Tobias Lieber, who then linked up with Mason Hardwick to register the score.
Two minutes later, Charlie Mason had a second try, which looked perfectly legitimate, ruled out by referee Barry Thomas. But not to worry because Mason was soon on the scoresheeet with a move, also involving Tom Hardwick and Dan Pearson, that he started and finished.
Wolf Hunt continued to dictate the pace of the match, and they bagged another four-pointer when a cheeky offload by Aaron Wycherley led to Reece Collier going into the corner.
Bulldogs finally registered their first points of the afternoon when their captain, Adam Brook, exploited an unmarked left flank to race in. And moments later, the same thing happened again, with winger Alex Isles finding himself plenty of space this time.
But Wolf Hunt stretched their lead to 32-12 by the break as captain Lee Chapman twice darted over the whitewash in typical hooker’s fashion and then Joe Symcox outmuscled his opponent to touch down on the line.
The visitors, buoyed by a stern half-time team-talk from coach Sean Sudworth, were first off the mark in the second half with a try from giant front-row forward Dan McCue. And it wasn’t long before they struck again, courtesy of centre Will Baillon.
But Wolf Hunt responded in kind as Curtis Green barged his way over for a gritty, well-worked try, after strong drives by Wycherley and Joe Symcox, and then an outrageous dummy by stand-off Dan Pearson led to Al Symcox finding Mason for his second try of the game.
Bulldogs began the final quarter with a try from centre Rhys Kearton from an attacking scrum. However, it was always going to be the home team’s day and man-of-the-match full-back Pete Alldread produced an outstanding indvidual effort when slicking through a slack defence to race 70 metres and score.
Alldread was at it again moments later, receiving the ball from Joe Symcox and outpacing three would-be tacklers before finding winger Hardwick to complete the scoring.