By Brandon Reeves
A lightning fast start with a try inside the first two minutes by Huddersfield at Lockwood Park sent them well on their way to a massive derby win over Otley in National League North two.
In what was a closely fought battle between the sides, ‘Field made their chances count when needed, while showing a determination when defending to ultimately give themselves the perfect early christmas present of a victory.
After having a week off due to postponement the week before, there were certainly no flies on Gareth Lewis’ men as they raced into an early lead.
Using their lineout to devastating effect, Chris Johnson received the ball and kicked cross field almost on a sixpence for Lewis Workman on the wing to run onto and in behind for an early score.
Otley most definitely didn’t know what hit them as the first play of the day left them with an uphill battle.
Field nearly repeated the trick minutes later. Mark Pease’s grubber into the corner after working it across from a lineout just ran into touch with Workman, Tom Hodson and Kian Stewart in hot pursuit.
Stunned into action after being let off the hook, the visitors made inroads into Huddersfield territory, only to be pushed back into their own half before conceding a penalty.
Chris Johnson added to his conversion with the kick, stroking it through the posts from the ten-metres.
Play was largely contested thereafter in between the 22 metres until Otley got themselves on the scoreboard while having a man advantage.
Alex Battye received a yellow for foul play while defending his try line, and from the resulting scrum, Brett Mitchell went over to score, although Ben Smith screwed his kick wide of the posts.
With the last action of the half Huddersfield posted another three points thanks to Johnson’s boot again, sending his side in with an eight-point gap.
Otley came out and went gunning for a score in the early exchanges, but Field withstood a lengthy spell of pressure inside their own 22 before battling back up the pitch.
Chris Johnson added another confidently dispatched penalty soon after, but Field were in a spell of play on top and drove home their man advantage after Jack Mackie saw yellow for Otley.
The home side recovered a dropped ball from an Otley attack before Lewis Bradley and Kian Stewart eventually got their side into the opposite 22.
Lewis Workman was denied in the left corner at the last, but Field worked the phases across where Jack Maplesden eventually lunged into the gap on the line to extend the lead.
Johnson’s kick sailed through from an angle to complete Field’s scoring.
Otley weren’t done though as they were now playing for pride and a bonus losing point in the final ten minutes.
Down the right side, they used their offloads well and patiently went through the phases before Jack Mackie, back on the field, managed to escape the grasp of Kian Stewart before bounding over in the corner.
Ben Smith kicked through from a tighter position than when he missed earlier but made no mistake this time.
But Otley couldn’t put more of a dent in Field’s controlled eleven-point lead, and the home side take the points, spoils, and revenge from defeat earlier in the season.
Head Coach Gareth Lewis was full of praise for his side after the derby day win.
“It was a fantastic performance against a very robust Otley side.
“Our repeated defensive efforts were exceptional and some of the hits going in by the likes of Will Milner and Mark Pease were pretty ferocious.
“Chris showed his class and experience off the tee and managed the game superbly. It was a great advert for national league rugby played in front of a big crowd.”
Tries: Workman, Maplesden
Conv: Johnson 2
Pens: Johnson 3
Tries: Mitchell, Mackie