Birstall Victoria got their first away win of the season, with an excellent all-round performance at Sheffield Hillsborough Hawks.
The defensive line held strong throughout the game, led superbly by second-row Gavin Davis and centre Jonny Parrish.
This allowed hooker Brendan Sheridan, scrum-half Tony Aubrey and stand-off Ste Suddards to deliver a masterclass in attacking rugby league.
It was Sheridan’s quick runs from dummy-half that gave Birstall the early lead.
Centre Braden Hunter showed great pace to collect Sheridan’s pass and score in the corner on 17 minutes.
Hunter scored his second of the game on 28 minutes, after full-back Ashley Tomlinson returned a Sheffield high ball and linked well with Aubrey.
The first-half scoring was completed by Sheridan on 33 minutes, with another run from dummy-half, for a half-time score of 0–20.
With only three second-half minutes gone, quick passing from Sheridan and Suddards saw Hunter break the Sheffield line again, and skipping round the full-back with ease he
completed his hat-trick.
With strong running and great defence from forwards Gavin Davis, Richard Duffy, Matty Ginnelly and Lee Birkett, Sheffield just couldn’t get any field position, and Birstall took full advantage.
Sheridan added his second on 53 minutes after yet another run from dummy half.
Tomlinson touched down on 60 minutes, running a great line off another classy Suddards pass.
Four minutes later Aubrey scored, after another Hunter line break, whilst loose forward Matthew Gowland supported Sheridan to score on 77 minutes.
It was centre Parrish who finished the scoring on 80 minutes with a lovely dummy to score untouched in the corner.
Conversions were added by Hunter (one), Gowland (two) and Suddards (four) – to take the full-time score to 54-0. Man-of-the-match went to Ashley Tomlinson, who was faultless playing his first game at full-back.
Also standing out were hooker Brendan Sheridan, prop Richard Duffy and Braden Hunter for his hat-trick.
Birstall’s next game is on Saturday away against Beverley Braves, kicking off at 2.30pm.
Picture: Mark Lockwood