Huddersfield came within seconds of securing their first win of the season away at table topping Tynedale . Having led the match from twelve minutes in they were undone by a try deep into stoppage time and lost the match by a single point.
After a nervy opening by both sides it was Huddersfield who settled into their patterns of play and dominated the first half. As it drew to its close they were nineteen points and three tries to the good, two of which were converted by fly half Jonny West.
The first came when Tynedale were caught on the back foot inside their own 22. A powerful maul following a fine scrummage was rounded off by Nick Sharpe. Three minutes later ‘Field’ went over for their second. A penalty had pegged Tynedale back on their five metre line and another fine drive from the lineout resulted in skipper Alex Battye touching down.
Huddersfield’s forwards were controlling the match, dominating the scrummages and forcing their opponents backwards in open play. Richie Piper, making his first start at No.8, looked particularly impressive in the loose and was one of several repeatedly breaking through the Tynedale defensive lines. A second try for Battye came on twenty eight minutes. A carbon copy of his first on the opposite flank.
However with only four minutes of the first half remaining the tide started to turn in favour of the league leaders. Huddersfield lost possession when a high kick out of defence was comfortably taken and Tynedale’s lively backs were able to show their class for the first time in the match. A thirty metre break and some neat passing exchanges down the right wing resulted in flanker Drew Davidson going in for the first of his team’s four tries with Ash Smith notching the first of his three conversions.
A successful penalty kick by West on 40 minutes gave Huddersfield the final score of the half but when Ben Hoyle was yellow carded in stoppage time it left them a man light at the start of the second period. Tynedale made the most of their one man advantage and ten minutes later they trailed by only a point. Huddersfield’s defence was stretched left and right and tries by Louis Frankland and Dan Taylor, both converted by Smith, followed. Hoyle’s return helped restore first half form and saw them press hard for a fourth try. On 65 minutes Tynedale lock Johnny Cousin was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on when it looked imminent but when Huddersfield were uncharacteristically penalised at their own scrummage Tynedale were able to clear their lines.
With time almost up Huddersfield took a kick at goal from a penalty option which West duly landed from 30 yards out. This left Tynedale needing a try to win. Huddersfield took the ball from the re-start with their forwards intent on running the clock down by working it through a series of close quarter phases. Alas possession was eventually lost enabling the home side to launch one final onslaught which eventually brought a match winning corner flag try by left winger Rob Parker.