By L Hammond
National 3 North champions Huddersfield could secure their 21st victory of the campaign as the season draws to a close at Lockwood Park.
The last competitive fixture to take place in the national leagues comes after a jubilant week for the men from Huddersfield.
Remedying last season’s relegation woes with a successful promotion push and securing the crown of league champions last weekend against Percy Park. The turf of Lockwood Park was transformed into the premiere celebration location in the Huddersfield.
Although a party atmosphere has swept the club into a sense of euphoria there are still playing matter to attend to. Sandal travel to Huddersfield harbouring ambitions of capitalising on any hangover from last weekend’s celebrations with Field Manager Lee Paxman warning his side to show no complacency: “Last week was great, we completed our objective which was to get promoted but we still have a job to do. Sandal will look to come here and win and we must make sure we’re ready for a fight.”
Sandal are one of the form sides in the league, having won their last eight fixtures, their previous victory an impressive 26-17 over Sale. In spite of this Paxman is confident the confidence in buoyed side to end the season on a high: “We’ve worked hard all year and in the last fixture of the season we’re not going to allow those playing standards to slip, yes we’ve been promoted but we want to finish the season in the right way, with a win this weekend.”
Field have made several changes to the XV that secured the league championship, turning to experienced heads for their final game of the year. Experienced Prop Laurence Sanderson is called into the front row at Hooker in the absence of regular No.2’s James Davies and Ben Morrill.
Long time club servant Dave Hall is called up from the bench to make his first start of the season. The Winger marked his return to playing fold with a vital try against Percy Park which all but secured the league crown for Field.
Full-Back Tom Hodson is moved to Fly-Half, with Winger Elliot Hodgson slotting into the Full-Back position.
This season has seen Field from the ashes of despair. A pre-season of change and re-evaluation saw new coaches and players enlisted to drive Huddersfield towards their goal of promotion back to National League 2.
A culmination of mud, sweat and tears has re-invigorated a once flailing institution and with their main goal of promotion now accomplished, one final victory would seem to be a fitting end to a season of success both on and off the field.
The match is a 3pm Kick-off at Lockwood Park and all under 16’s are admitted for free.
Hudd 1st XV vs Sandal
1. Alex Battye
2. Laurence Sanderson
3. Tony Stringwell
4. Gavin Rhodes
5. Nick Rhodes
6. Bob Sykes
7. Ben Hoyle
8. Nick Sharpe (c)
9. Joel Hinchliffe
10. Tom Hodson
11. Dave Hall
12. Tom Van Rooyen
13. Tom Owen
14. Mike Clarke
15. Elliot Hodgson
16. Ed Birkhead
17. Ross Thornton
18. Oliver Scrimshaw
19. Elliot Knight