Hinckley maintained their winning start to the season and inflicted a second successive defeat on Huddersfield in Round 2 of the National 2 North campaign at Lockwood Park on Saturday.
The home side made a bright start and after three minutes they took a three point lead. Hinckley were penalised for not releasing and scrum half Joel Hinchliffe landed the penalty kick from the 22.
Relief from the early onslaught came on ten minutes when an injury to Huddersfield lock Austen Thompson forced them to re-jig their pack. Hinckley gained the upper hand and subjected their hosts to a twenty minute spell of pressure. The ‘Field’ defence held firm at first, holding up the Hinckley forwards when they crossed the line however when prop Adam Blades fell victim to a yellow card on 14 minutes the pressure on them intensified.
Huddersfield resilience continued and they appeared to have weathered the storm. Their big forwards started to work the ball forward and go through the phases. Lewis Bradley, Adam Malthouse, Nick Sharpe and Ben Morrill amongst those combining well to drive the visitors back. However with ‘Field’ once again looking threatening a long and unnecessary pass was slung wide which was gratefully intercepted by Hinckley centre Thomas Wheatcroft who ran in the first try of the match. Full back Joe Wilson added the conversion from under the posts and increased his team’s lead on the half hour when Huddersfield were penalised for a high tackle.
Five minutes later Huddersfield were awarded a penalty after the Hinckley pack were out muscled in a powerful scrummage. However ‘Field’ missed their chance to put pressure on the Hinckley line when fly half Jonny West failed with his kick for touch.
The first half ended with Huddersfield on the attack. Once again it was their forwards who were posing the threat. An ill-conceived grubber kick brought the half to a close when a little more patience with ball in hand may well have produced a score to narrow the gap.
Huddersfield started the second half with a re-shaped back line, Ollie Fox coming in at scrum half and Hinchliffe moving to the fly half birth. Seven minutes on Hinchliffe found himself isolated and caught in possession after another missed kick for touch. The Hinckley pack was swiftly upon him, the ball was turned over and prop Oscar Harper scored the second try of the match which Wilson converted.
Ten minutes later Huddersfield were once again the architects of their own misfortune when yet another penalty kick for touch was missed. Instead of being able to mount a challenge inside their visitors half they found the ball they had worked so hard to obtain being run back at them with interest.
A good spell in the final quarter forced Hinckley on the defence and saw David Peck yellow carded on 72 minutes for his side’s repeated infringement at the breakdown. Huddersfield almost crossed from the resulting penalty but a knock on with the whitewash beckoning brought the threat to an end.
A penalty try to the visitors in stoppage time brought the match to a close when the ‘Field’ scrummage was beaten and wheeled five metres out.