By Ivaylo Ivanov
Huddersfield RUFC got back on track defeating Preston Grasshoppers 31-30 in a deeply entertaining and dramatic match.
The win came as a fresh breath of air for Field after team’s last two disappointments against Sedgley Park and Birmingham. The victory will also boost players’ confidence before their next fixture against the table leaders Hull lonians.
In an intense eighty minutes that ebbed and flowed Huddersfield showed great spirit and endurance to claim the win in the very last seconds of the match.
The game started brilliantly for Huddersfield as in the 2nd minute Ben Mitchell put the team 5 points ahead after a beautiful run down the left.
The Grasshoppers replied quickly jumping into attack and in the 11th minute the score was levelled by Scott Jordan. Lewis Allen converted to make it 7-5.
Fifteen minutes of pressure from the Lockwood side followed which resulted in a well-worked try by Austen Thompson in the 27th minute. Joel Hinchliffe’s conversion made the result 12-7 in Field’s favour.
And after swapping two successful penalties by Allen and Hinchliffe respectively, the two teams went for the break with the score table showing 10-15.
Huddersfield successfully repeated what they did in the beginning of the game as second half was only seconds old when a try from Chris Bell made it 10-20. Hinchliffe scored the conversion.
Several moments later, in the 49th minute, it was Hinchliffe again to add three more points in the guests active making the result 10-25.
But the Grasshoppers from Preston did not surrender. They made a stunning comeback to cut Field’s advantage in less than 15 minutes.
First on the score board was Scott Jordan in the 53rd minute who made it 15-25 after his try.
Second was Christopher Tailor just three minutes later making it 20-25. Samuel Russell converted to shorten ‘Field’s advantage to three points only.
It was Russell again who equalized the result in the 65th minute realizing a penalty.
Huddersfield took the lead again in the 68th minute as Hinchliffe’s penalty shot was right on target.
That did not last long as in the 73rd minute Preston’s Mark Murray crossed giving his team the five points and making the result 30-28.
A dramatic last minutes of the game followed as Huddersfield rushed into the attack looking to score. And they deservedly did in the very last seconds of the game when a great penalty from Hinchliffe under pressure gave the Lockwood Park side the so needed-win.
Preston Grasshoppers: Murray, M, Baines, Russell, Woof, Jordan, Allen, Whyte, Mabaya, Mills, Altham, Tomlinson, Murray, A, Napier, Lees, Taylor.
Preston Grasshoppers substitutes: Holmes, McGuinness, Walker, Kindred, Reddick.
Huddersfield: Hodson, Hodgson, Mitchell, Owen, Martin, Bell, Hinchliffe, Battye, Walker, Sanderson, Thompson, Malthouse, Lewis, Hoyle, Sharpe.
Huddersfield substitutes: Brown, Jeffrey, Thornton, Purcell, Hall.