Caldy March On Despite Huddersfield Scare
Huddersfield provided a stern test for Caldy but were ultimately beaten by the league leaders 34-13. The result means Caldy, down from National 1 last year, continued their astonishing 100% winning record in National II North as we approach the halfway point of the season.
On a trip which the visitors knew the task at hand was going to be a tough one, it couldn’t have got off to a much better start. Field pushed into the Caldy final 22 straight from the kick-off, and the ball was eventually worked out to Lewis Bradley who burst over with practically the first attack of the game, Will Milner stepping up and adding the conversion.
A great start for Field and the game continued to progress in their favour, Caldy unable to really cause them any significant threat as they searched for a way back into the contest.
Two penalties each were converted by both teams, Gavin Roberts and Milner the only two who could add any points onto the scoreboard during the opening 20 minutes.
Caldy began to settle into a rhythm towards the end of the first half, but despite Josh Crickmay being sent to the bin by the referee during the latter stages, stubborn Field defending ensured the away side went into the dressing room at halftime with an unlikely 13-6 advantage.
Although they hadn’t yet breached Field, Caldy had looked threatening and continued as such after coming out for the second half, the away side forced into more desperate defending which saw another yellow card awarded, this time to Fran Entressengle.
Against 13 men, it felt inevitable before the hosts broke through and it eventually came from a penalty try after a big team push from the scrum against a weakened Field pack to bring them back level.
Disappointing for Field who were back up to 14 immediately after conceding, but from that point the league leaders began to show exactly why they have been so impressive so far this term.
With superior numbers in the pack they used their numerical advantage to full effect, a strong maul ending with Josiah Dickinson emerging from the pile with the ball over the line to give the hosts the lead in the game for the first time.
Even when Field were returned to their full complement, Caldy were relentless from the scrum and lineout, this time Josh Collister breaking from a scrum won metres from the Field try line and managing to find a gap to squeeze through for the try.
The hosts, not happy with simply gaining the win, continued to push for the bonus point and gained it when Dickinson was the one to eventually make sustained pressure through the centre count and claim his 2nd and his sides 4th try of the contest.
Gavin Roberts added the extras to ensure each teams kicker left with a 100% conversion rate as the score finished 34-13.
The result means Caldy remain at the top with a game in hand over chasing Fylde, whilst Field drop into the relegation zone after Luctonians and Hull both picked up victories in their respective fixtures against Preston and Scunthorpe.
Head Coach Gareth Lewis commented: “The best team won in the end but that first half performance is right up there with the best rugby we’ve played this season. Two yellow cards either side of half time changed the nature of the game and they squeezed us up front.
“There are lots of positives to take from the game ahead of an important match against Loughborough Students next week.”
Field next welcome the students to Lockwood Park who romped to victory against Wharfedale at the weekend and will undoubtedly provide another big battle for Lewis and his players.