By D Whittle

Huddersfield 43
Westoe 19

Huddersfield scored six tries to secure a crucial victory over Westoe as league leaders Rossendale were beaten at Sale.

Capitalising on Rossendale’s first defeat of the season, ‘Field have closed the gap at the top to just three points with a fourth consecutive win.

Manager Lee Paxman said: “With Rossendale losing to sale it helps close that gap at the top, with Sale winning it means that there are three teams at the top now.

“We’re going try and get to top spot, but being the top 3 is a nice place to be, so hopefully we can push on.

Considering Westoe trailed by just three with ten minutes to go, it could be considered that the score line flatters ‘Field, who faced a determined visiting defence.

But three late tries from Tom Hodson, Ben Mitchell and Joel Hinchliffe secured victory and a bonus point for ‘Field.

‘Field had started the game well and dominated early on and they went ahead through Nick Sharpe. In a typical try for the number eight, ‘Field drove a scrum over line allowing their captain to easily give his side the lead.

Despite ‘Field’s lead being narrowed through Harry Kirkland’s try, ‘Field moved further ahead through a Hodson penalty and Sharpe doubled his tally, his seventh try of the season.

Though ‘Field started on the back foot, the second half saw Westoe dominate the opening affairs as they grew in confidence.  

The visitors looked to make it a nervy second half for ‘Field as centre Mark Wilson scored to narrow the deficit, but they soon gifted their hosts a further lead.

A misplaced pass allowed Clarke to run from halfway to score in the corner, as Hodson missed the only kick of what otherwise was a faultless kicking performance for the full back.

But Westoe soon responded as James Clarke’s try ensured ‘Field would be made to work for their victory.

But for all their hard work, they were undone by a piece of individual brilliance. Having used Hodson for his kicking abilities, it was his running that shone. 

Upon receiving the ball in his own half, Hodson ran at the visiting defence and paved a way through the centre, as he glided over a heavy Lockwood Park pitch and through a tiring defence.

With two more tries to put the gloss on their performance, ‘Field may have made hard work of the victory but there were certainly some solid performances, notably from Hodson.

He said: “I was better than last week, kicking in particular, I’ve been a bit hit and miss over the past couple of weeks and it’s good to get some over the post so I was pleased.

It’s really good to close that gap and make up for some of the loses in the previous weeks.”

‘Field next travel to Beverley as they look to keep the heat on leaders Rossendale whilst maintaining the gap to Sale.

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