Rugby League: Pachniuk keeps Hunslet alive

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HUNSLET, WHO were beaten by Widnes in the qualifying play-off a week ago, kept alive their hopes of reaching the Northern Ford Premiership Grand Final with a battling 17-9 win over Featherstone in yesterday's eliminator play-off game. They now play Widnes again on Sunday and the winner will go to Headingley and play Dewsbury.

Featherstone, beaten Grand Finalists 12 months ago, led 9-0 at half-time thanks to a try from Martin Law and a drop goal and two goals from Jamie Rooney.

But Hunslet turned the tie on its head with a 17-point scoring burst in 13 minutes after the break, with Latham Tawhai setting up two tries with pin-point kicks.

Hooker Richard Pachniuk touched down twice to take his tally for the season to 26 and Richard Baker also scored a try, with Chris Ross kicking two goals and Tawhai adding a drop goal.

Gateshead wrapped up their successful debut season in Super League with a 48-22 win show at Warrington yesterday.

Thunder, who narrowly missed out on a play-off place, never looked in trouble once they had gone ahead on the half-hour and romped into a 26- 10 interval lead.

Matt Daylight took only 10 minutes to notch his 25th try of the season after a dashing burst by Deon Bird, with Ian Herron landing the conversion.

Warrington responded with two tries in four minutes through Toa Kohe- Love and Mark Forster.

Thunder narrowed the gap to 10-8 with a Herron penalty and the introduction of Kerrod Walters made the big difference. The Australian hooker was involved for Will Robinson's try which made it 14-10 with Herron's conversion.

Gateshead added further tries before the break through Bird and David Maiden. They continued to dominate the second half and Steve Collins went over to make it 32-10.

Danny Farrar scored twice for Warrington with Jon Roper converting both to cut the gap to 34-22, but Thunder were not to be denied.

Late tries from Maiden, Tony Grimaldi and Bird completed the agony for Warrington, who slipped to their fifth defeat in a row.

Herron finished with seven goals from nine attempts while Walters added the conversion to Bird's try.

Wigan's Kris Radlinski scored a second-half hat-trick to steer his side to an emphatic 60-24 win over the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.

Danny Moore also completed a hat-trick and Andy Farrell kicked six goals as Wigan warmed up in style for their play-off campaign.

Warriors scored 11 tries in total and 38 unanswered points after the break which included further touch-downs for Gavin Clinch, who tagged on a couple of conversions, and Tony Mestrov - his first of the season.

Wigan had posted notice of their intent with a try after just 29 seconds for Jason Robinson and a second by Chris Chester three minutes later but Wakefield led 24-22 at half-time thanks to tries by Lynton Stott, Francis Stephenson, Tony Kemp and Ian Talbot, who completed conversions for all four.

"The build-up to the game was disrupted by injuries," Andy Kelly, the Wakefield coach, said. "Probably half my team was watching from the sidelines and that took its toll in the end. Wigan had good quality players and a side brimming with class acts and game breakers."