In an incident packed game at Hare Lane a penalty try and a couple of lost line outs proved costly for Huddersfield in a 34 points to 20 defeat against Chester.
Both teams started brightly producing rugby that was to benchmark a pulsating first forty minutes. Seven minutes in Chester overthrew a line out leading to a Huddersfield attack down the right flank. When possession was lost Chester countered but Huddersfield full back Lewis Workman re-gained the ball and re-launched down the left with winger Brandon Conway breaking clear only to be stopped just short of the posts. Moments later Huddersfield took the lead. A powerful surge by the Huddersfield pack caused Chester to lose their put in at a scrum and centre Tom Owen breezed through to score near the posts. Harry Davey added the conversion.
Chester’s first try came on eighteen minutes. A penalty had given them a lineout ten metres out which was well taken and driven over with flanker Josh woods touching down. Liam McGovern’s conversion attempt went just wide. Not long afterwards the home side took the lead. With Chester threatening down the right Huddersfield flanker Lewis Bradley extended an arm and knocked the ball on. Referee Ieuan Davies consulted his assistant, the yellow card came out, Bradley was given his marching orders and a penalty try was awarded.
A penalty for each side kept the scoreboard ticking over until stoppage time. As the half drew to its close the visitors were pressing to get back on terms but a massive clearance kick out of defence by Chester rolled perfectly into touch for them ten metres from the Huddersfield line. The throw in was lost and Chester shipped the ball swiftly right and Craig Ross ran in their third try which McGovern converted to give his team a flattering lead at the interval.
After the break Huddersfield went on the attack and fifteen minutes into the second half they were right back in the game. A succession of powerful Huddersfield scrummages close to the Chester line kept referee Davies busy with his whistle and eventually Harry Davey nipped through behind his rampant forwards for a try which he converted. When Davey reduced the deficit to two points with a penalty with a quarter of an hour to go the match looked to be there for the taking.
However Chester saved their best till last. Their response to being pegged back was immediate and clinical. From the re-start they re-gained and retained possession working the ball forward and putting the Huddersfield defence to the test. Try as they might Field could not get a sniff of the ball and after several effective phases Guy Ford scored in the right hand corner.
The second half finished in the same way as the first. Huddersfield were defending close to their line, an altercation led to an even handed yellow carding of Huddersfield’s Nick Sharpe and Chester replacement Anthony Tilley and with things settled down a line out was awarded. Huddersfield lost the throw and Chester hooker Alick Croft got a final try to rob Huddersfield of a deserved losing bonus point. McGovern’s conversion brought the match to an end.