By D Whittle
Huddersfield RUFC 25 – 21 Billingham RUFC
Tom Hodson’s late penalties secured victory as Huddersfield came from behind to win at Lockwood Park.
The fly-half kept his cool in the final minutes, as he gave Field an opening day win in a thrilling climax.
The win came on the back of a positive preseason for the club, as they begin life in a new division.
Captain Nick Sharpe said: “It was a nervy one for the crowd and the management, but we showed in the end that we’ve got the composure to win those tight battles.”
Despite the rain it was a bright start by Huddersfield who dominated territory, but they were forced to settle for penalties as Hodson gave Field a 9-6 lead at halftime.
After the restart, Peter Evans kicked Billingham level as the visitors looked galvanised after halftime.
As the conditions improved so did Billingham, and they took the lead through Andy Evans after a break from deep within their own half.
Though Field were soon back on terms as they were awarded a penalty try, the visitors re-took the lead 10 minutes from the end. A kick out wide found Tom Small, who had the freedom of Lockwood to score in the corner.
With just minutes left on the clock and the entirety of the Wade Stand urging them on, Field responded to the crowd as they forced Billingham into mistakes, as they found themselves camped inside their own 20 metres.
But Tom Hodson who had given Field the lead at half time, ensured a perfect start to their new campaign, with three successful penalties in the final minutes.
First-team manager Lee Paxman said: “We had a lot of belief to keep playing the same way, we forced the pressure and then what can you say when you’ve got a goal kicker as potent as Tom Hodson to keep that scoreboard ticking over.”
Unfortunately it was not such a perfect start to the season for Huddersfield’s Falcons side as they lost 14-19 to Wheatley Hills.