By L Hammond
Huddersfield snatched first place in the National 3 North after emerging victorious in an eleven try tussle against Beverley.
The 37 – 33 victory was Huddersfield’s fifth victory in a row. They now lead the table by two points and remain the only team unbeaten on their travels in the league.
Beverley lead by eleven points at half time but Huddersfield managed to outscore their stubborn opponents by four tries to two in the second half, with a late score from Fly Half Giles Hetherington pushing Huddersfield into the lead and securing the win.
Huddersfield began the match in a perfect fashion opening up a ten point lead with two early tries for centres Tom Owen and Ben Mitchell.
Owen opened the scoring for Huddersfield, dotting the ball down in the corner for the first try of the match. ‘
‘Field capitalised on a poor clearance kick from Beverley, with winger Elliot Hodgson running the ball almost 20 metres back at the Beverley defence. The ball was recycled quickly leaving Fly Half Giles Hetherington to mastermind an overlap with hooping miss pass to winger Michael Clarke. Clarke then popped the ball inside to centre Owen, who ran in unopposed.
Huddersfield then doubled their lead straight from the resulting kick off. After several purposeful drives through the middle of the park from the Field eight. Fly Half Giles Hetherington evaded the Beverley blitz defence by throwing an audacious dummy and then finding centre Mitchell in space who ran over the try line unopposed.
Huddersfield’s hard work to get a much deserved lead would be all but nullified before half time as Beverley hit back with three unconverted tries. The first came from winger Rob Smith who ran a smart tracking line in parallel with Beverley Fly Half Phil Duboulay. When the winger received the ball he impressively shook off the challenges of several Huddersfield defenders to run in Beverley’s opening score.
The Beverley Fly Half then created a try of his own. After several forward drives in the Huddersfield twenty two, Duboulay found acres of space between two forwards drifting in defence and sprinted through the gap to see Beverley take the lead.
Huddersfield’s first half capitulation was then completed when Beverley flanker Joe Picketts, received the ball in midfield and out-ran a broken Huddersfield defensive line to see Beverley lead by 21-10 at half time.
Huddersfield again began the brighter at the begging of the half, with Scrum Half Joel Hinchcliffe capitalising on an overlap to send Full Back Tom Hodson over the line to score his third try in as many weeks.
Beverley quickly hit back, capitalising on the sin-binning of Huddersfield captain Nick Sharpe to produce an effective line-out drive which ended in Beverley no.7 Joe Picketts grabbing his second try of the game.
In this topsy-turvy fixture, Huddersfield then scored ten unanswered points with a penalty from Tom Hodson and a try for winger Michael Clarke which saw the ball the moves through the hands of every member of the Field back line, before finding the winger who ran in the try.
Beverley then hit back, with Huddersfield conceding a sloppy try. Veteran prop Mark Hatfield found himself on the wing and drove two Huddersfield defenders over the line to extend Beverley’s lead.
With the match now entering its final stages Huddersfield were clinical at the Beverley try line. With Full Back Hodson grabbing his second try of the game finishing off an incisive break from ‘Field winger Elliot Hodgson to put Huddersfield one point behind Beverley.
The win was secured with a breakaway try for Huddersfield with Full Back Hodson passing the ball mid tackle to Fly Half Gils Hetherington who ran through the Beverley twenty two unopposed to guarantee the win for Huddersfield.
Huddersfield next welcome local rivals Bradford & Bingley to Lockwood Park as they look for their sixth consecutive victory and to extend their lead at the top of the table.