The sun shone and the Falcons sizzled in a well earned league victory against Sandal at Lockwood Park. This was the third meeting between the teams this season – in the first Huddersfield ran out 56-0 winners, before a lack lustre display at Sandal resulted in 25-10 loss. The stakes were therefore high – local pride at stake against fierce local rivals.
The Falcons fielded a side with several new faces and unfamiliar positions. Captain Neilly stepping into the front row alongside academy 18 year olds Will Cossey and Alex Lee. Big James Davies finally making the inevitable transition to the forwards starting at six, alongside another academy star in Joe Morrison.
If these changes perhaps brought any nervousness it certainly didn’t show. The youth stepped up to the mark admirably. The forwards carried hard and stopped Sandals progress in attack. Alex Lee was everywhere. Will Cossey tackled everything in close quarters. The back row trio of Davies, Harry Woodhouse and Joe Morrison made yards with plentiful carrying. John Sedgewick in unfamiliar role as the main lineout man dominated the throw ins.
Scrimshaw scored the first points of the game with penalty after good pressure. Sandal bounced back with a try after a break in mid-field.
Elliot Knight then scored a fine individual try – coming into the line from full back he used all his first team experience, power and pace to carve past defenders scoring out left. Scrimshaw pulled the conversion wide
Sandal were right back in it after some uncharacteristic loose tackling saw their prop rumble through the tight defence – the conversion making it 10-8 Sandal.
The second half game intensity increased now and both sides threw everything into it. Josh Walker at nine pulled the strings bringing the Field forwards into play and clearing the lines with some pinpoint box kicking. Scrimshaw keeping the pressure on with a couple of penalties. Elliott Spiers got two deserved tries. Sandal pulled one back and kicked a penalty to close the gap. Both sides pushed hard for the telling score. Finally Danny Copley found himself clear on the right following lovely hands from Joe Hawdon and Elliott Spiers. The crowd gasped as Danny caught the ball and touched down for the decisive score.
With a few minutes left Huddersfield now just had to keep possession and that they did.
Gav Rhodes took the kick off. The forwards took control and kept things tight. The academy youths showed real intelligence and composure to keep control with short drives until time was up. Four try bonus point win well deserved.
A proper Huddersfield side full of home-grown talent and youth showed real grit and character – a performance to be proud of.