By N Lawless
Huddersfield fought hard but eventually fell to a 29-14 home defeat to league leaders Hull Ionians in a hot-tempered clash at a wet Lockwood Park.
‘Field held their own for long periods of the game but Ionians in the end deserved to win in a game they always had just enough control of.
An even start saw both teams try to go on the attack, with defenders winning out in the first ten minutes.
In the 15th minute a strong run by Huddersfield’s Austin Thompson saw the ball arrive to Joel Hinchcliffe in a dangerous position and a brilliant reverse pass from him allowed Nick Sharpe to put the ball over for the opening try, Hinchcliffe completing the conversion.
Hull came back strongly and quickly won a penalty which was scored by Chris Reakes.
Huddersfield were generally looking composed although the game began to see a few scuffles between members of both teams with tempers flaring as the half went on, with Ben Hoyle receiving a yellow card for Huddersfield.
Hull immediately put heavy pressure on the depleted ‘Field and after several dangerous scrums they scored with a penalty try on 35 minutes, with the conversion scored by Reakes to go into half-time 10-7 up.
Hull came out for the second half on the attack and only a good tackle from Dave Hall stopped them scoring a quick try after the break.
Two sinbins in quick succession saw Huddersfield in deeper trouble with Richard Brown and Lawrence Sanderson both seeing yellow.
Hull eventually got another penalty try with the conversion again completed by Reakes to go ten points ahead.
James Purcell became the fourth Huddersfield player to be sinbinned for a dump tackle on the hour mark, with a scrambled Hull try scored by Danny Hague shortly after.
Hull looked to see the game out in the final 20 minutes and began to dominate in scrums and possession.
However a slip of the ball at the back saw Elliot Hodgson gain possession on the halfway line and he ran free to score a try to get Huddersfield back in the game, with Chris Bell’s conversion making it 14-22.
Huddersfield then looked to put pressure on the Hull defence under the roar of an animated Lockwood Park crowd but could not find the killer pass to break the leaders down.
Eventually it was Hull who completed the scoring, with a counter attack seeing Steve Slingsby run through an exposed Huddersfield defence, with the conversion confirming Hull’s win in a very entertaining match.