Hykeham’s new rugby league team continued its development with a 32-12 defeat away at Bentley in the Lincolnshire club’s second ever match.
Bentley’s second team play in the Yorkshire Men’s League and were always going to provide tough opposition for Hykeham, but the visitors held their own for much of the game.
Hykeham gave rugby league debuts to Ryan Carr, Callum Williams, Mark Munton, Tom Cunnington, Ryan Huckstep, and Andrew McClelland.
Hykeham controlled the first 20 minutes of the match and opened the scoring after one set took them beyond the halfway line. Carr then spun out of a tackle and went over for a try, which Rob Booth converted.
Bentley’s experience then started to show and a few defensive gaps opened up and led to tries for the hosts who built up a 22-6 first-half lead.
Hykeham lost winger William Bullock to injury, but forward Ben Thomas deputised well in his place. Ryan Huckstep also came off the bench for his first ever game of rugby league and really grew into the match after a nervous start.
Bentley dominated the start of the second half as Hykeham looked disjointed and the hosts added a further two tries.
As the match wore on, Hykeham got a second wind and their bravery and endeavour showed.
The visitors reduced the deficit after an excellent dummy run by Tommy Jarvis pulled in the defence. Booth then broke through several strong tacklers to power his way over for a try which he also converted.
Club Chair Tommy Jarvis said: “Ours was the last score of the game and showed how well we’re developing in terms of organisation under pressure and fitness too.
“We’re going to continue to build and improve into next season with a full complement of fixtures.
“If anyone wants to be part of that journey I’d encourage that you drop us a message and come and join in.”
Team Manager James Husband said: “It was a solid effort from the lads and thanks to Bentley for hosting us.
“It was good to see some new faces and I can’t wait to see what next season brings.”