By Brandon Reeves
After having a potentially mouth-watering tie with local rivals Wharfedale postponed due to teeth-chattering weather last weekend, Huddersfield are set to host Otley this coming Saturday.
The Yorkshire derby will be more than enough to whet the appetite for all involved and will put a seal on the first half of the season.
There will be a keenness from the Field side to get one over on Otley after what happened in the early days of the season.
In what was a bit of a sickener for Gareth Lewis’ men, Otley hit field with a last-minute sucker punch to steal the win with a Paul Petchey try. Winger Elliot Knight even has the battle scars to tell the tale!
Nonetheless Field recovered from a rather sluggish start to go on to eight wins in their next twelve and give themselves a great platform to build from in the new year.
Saturday’s visitors themselves have been in a similar vein of form having lost just one of their last eight and sit just a point above Field in the table and are fresh from shutting out Chester out 6-0.
Both clubs have realistic potential of being in and around the top-two shake-up come the end of it all, but in the madness of this National 2 North season, there are about four or five who can have a similar claim.
Huddersfield’s Head Coach Gareth Lewis feels the Wharfedale postponement gave his men a chance for a much-needed rest ahead of this festive derby.
“It was disappointing to have our game postponed last week, but we saw it as an opportunity get some valuable recovery ahead of this weekend’s tough encounter.
“Otley had a great win last week against Chester and their league position is no surprise, as I predicted they would be right up there at the end of the season.
“They have an excellent pack of forwards and some quality players behind, so we are under no illusion about the challenge we face on Saturday.
“However, we are confident in our ability and I know the lads desperately want to finish the year on a high.”
Finishing the year with a win will put a more than merry look on things when reflecting on 2018, but regardless of Saturday’s result, the team has made great strides.
Never too high after a win, never too low after a loss, the group is a strong unit always prepared for a graft and have the club in a good position for the future.
With a sixth-place finish the season immediately after being promoted to the league, the summer was hectic and busy, and while battling a tough injury list most of this season, Huddersfield still perform to a good level and are nobody’s idea of an easy opponent.
Huddersfield: Tom Hodson, Kian Stewart, Mark Pease, Will Milner, Lewis Workman, Chris Johnson, Jack Maplesden; Harry Whitfield, Mark Chivers, Alex Battye, Guy Borrowdale, Nick Sharpe, Liam Parfitt, Ross Thornton, Dickie Piper (C).
Replacements: Adam Blades, Lewis Bradley, Bob Sykes, Joe Green, Elliot Knight