The Huddersfield Academy team progressed through to the Yorkshire Cup final after beating Middlesbrough 19 – 12 at Lockwood Park.

Facing a much heavier and more dominant pack the home team struggled to get into the game and the visitors were soon ahead after scoring an unconverted try to go 0 – 5 up.

More trouble followed when the Huddersfield flanker was sin-binned for a high tackle but the remaining 14 players re-grouped and with determined tackling and resolute defence they kept out wave after wave of Middlesbrough attacks.

With little opportunity to attack and hardly any territorial advantage it seemed improbable that Huddersfield were still in the game as the first half progressed.

Following a kick into the visitors 22, Huddersfield won the line out, and in a move straight off the training ground Will Robertshaw peeled off the back of the line, to make good ground, before off- loading the ball to Harry Woodhouse who was able to stretch over the line with four opposition players hanging on to score a try under the posts, converted by Cahal English.

Unbelievably Huddersfield were 7 – 5 up at half time.

As the rain intensified and the ground became softer, the heavier Middlesbrough pack were becoming less effective, whilst the home team were growing in confidence, cheered on by the home supporters.

When the home side backs got the ball they looked dangerous, particularly Arthur Wilkinson coming into the line from full back but the Boro boys had good line speed and tackled well. This allowed Field’s flyhalf Mason Kershaw to find some space behind the Boro backs with a neat kick and chase to score and convert the second try to make the score 14 – 5.

Back came the visitors and from a 5 meter line out they were able to catch and drive for the line to score and convert to take the score to 14 – 12.

And still 10 minutes to go – could the home side hang on? They lifted their game, they worked as a team and they tackled everything that moved putting tired bodies on the line.

Then, Field were able take advantage of a loose ball which was kicked on by the combined efforts of Alex Kimber and Titus Gwaze down the left wing and the Boro defence were not quick enough to deal with Mason Kershaw who touched down for his second try to take the score to 19 – 12.

As the minutes slowly ticked by, Huddersfield knew a converted try would allow Middlesbrough to level the scores and go through as the away side.

So there were great scenes of jubilation when the final whistle went and 18 young men, who had given their all, knew they had won a game against the odds, playing as a team with heart and courage and some considerable skill in very difficult conditions.

Final score Huddersfield 19 Middlesbrough 12 

The final will be held at York on Sunday 23rd April.

Well done boys!

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