Huddersfield Heartbreak As Hinckley Snatch Late Victory
Huddersfield lost to a gut-wrenching last minute try on the road to Hinckley.
In an enthralling game of Rugby, it was the hosts who would triumph 36-33 in an affair which could have easily swung either way.
Keen to build on the positives from last week’s victory over Stourbridge, Field started sloppily.
They were unable to match the tempo of last week’s fast start and were made to pay for flimsy defending as first Ben Pointon broke away from a scrum to wriggle over, and then Dale Bowyer crashed through the centre.
Both tries had the conversions added on to give Field a 14-0 deficit to try and overturn.
Field didn’t let their heads drop and began to play to their strengths, a series of lineouts being won inside the Hinckley final 22 and the pressure proving too much for the home side to handle as the visitors won a penalty try and two home players were sent to the bin for foul play.
With a two-man advantage Field began to turn the screw and sustained possession was made full use of by Lewis Bradley, who saw the gap in the weakened Hinckley pack and sidestepped through, Joel Hinchcliffe adding the conversion to bring the scores level.
A late penalty gave Hinckley a slender half time advantage, but the second half settled into a similar pattern as the first, with the Field forward pack seeing plenty of the ball and winning continuous penalties which were sent to touch in the corners.
It was from one of these that Field would take the lead for the first time, an almighty team push being rewarded when Nick Sharpe managed to force the ball over the try line and give Field just reward for their efforts.
Anyone thinking Hinckley being back to their full 15 for the second half would see the contest become cagey were proven breathtakingly wrong as the tries began to fly in for both teams.
First Alex Salt would break through for the hosts, the conversion added to give the home side the initiative once again.
Field fought back and Elliot Munnelly timed his run to perfection to fly into Joel Hinchcliffe’s pass and have too much pace for any Hinckley defender to stop him, Hinchcliffe then kicking between the posts to swing the pendulum once more, this time in favour of the visitors.
The tries kept coming in with it almost becoming a game of ‘you score, we score’, Hinckley responding again by working the ball well across the pitch to leave Ollie Ashworth with a simple task of running the ball over.
Field though simply would not lie down and were superb in the maul and scrummage throughout the 80 minutes, again gaining reward for that work when Lewis Bradley emerged from the pile of bodies within the maul with the ball over the line to again make it look like Field would win for the second week running.
Then came the sucker punch. A Field lineout was given away poorly, cruelly ironic given their effectiveness from it throughout the game, and despite their best efforts Callum Dacey broke through with the final action of the match to snatch victory right at the death for Hinckley.
The conversion was made, the referees whistle was blown, and Field were left to ponder how they’d not won that game of Rugby with such little time remaining.
One consolation for Field is the two bonus points which were accrued from the game, and signs that their point scoring threat is starting to improve after gaining 2 try bonuses in the last 2 games.
Ultimately though, Gareth Lewis and his players will be understandably gutted after losing such a hotly contested game which looked towards the end as though victory was heading their way.
Afterwards Lewis commented: “It was a cruel way to lose the game after playing so positively away from home. To be down by 14 points and claw our way back shows the quality we possess.
“However, we’ve learned a tough lesson in how to kill a game off today and we must improve in one or two important areas to move forward as a team.”
Next week Chester come and visit Lockwood Park, and Lewis will have to galvanise his troops to come back and show the same fight and desire which nearly saw them claim the victory on Saturday.
by Ben Brown