By Brandon Reeves
Huddersfield travel to the Dales this weekend when they visit Wharfedale at The Avenue looking to avenge the derby defeat in February, and ensure their season hasn’t hit its peak just yet.
‘Field ended their home campaign with an eye-catching 45-33 win over Fylde but Gareth Lewis says his side will need to tighten up at ‘Dale.
“Last week was a great game for the neutral but the defence from both teams was pretty average at times.
“Wharfedale is always a great place to play with a very passionate and vocal crowd so the boys are looking forward to it.”
This will always be a game to stir the emotion from both sets of players. Last time at Lockwood Park Nick Sharpe controversially saw red for a high tackle in wat was a physical and cagey affair.
Huddersfield are also aware of their last visit to The Avenue after they were sent packing by a rampant Wharfedale in 2018 by a score of 43-5.
If form is anything to go by in a Derby, Wharfedale have been a mostly inconsistent and streaky side this season. Riding into the weekend on the back of a defeat Stourbridge, their home form has been their old faithful.
Downing Sedgley Park, Hull Ionians and Fylde among others by the river Wharfe has been the key to them consolidating their place in National League 2 North. Just four defeats at home so far, with three home games yet to play could see them cement a mid-table finish.
While it’s been more obscure for Saturday’s hosts, Huddersfield have flown high for the majority and will ultimately fall a brush-stroke from being in the top-two.
But what a platform it has been for the future, and a real coup for the club to be in the discussion at all.
90+ points from the season has been an immense return for the Lockwood men, and Head Coach Lewis says his players come into the Derby relishing an opportunity to set the record straight.
“There is absolutely no pressure on us now so we’ll go there and enjoy a good old-fashioned Yorkshire derby knowing full well that we were out fought on our own patch earlier in the season.”
Lewis Makes a few changes to the side which overcame Fylde. Will Milner returns to midfield alongside Mark Pease, with Elliot Knight and Elliott Spiers coming in on the wings.
Ross Thornton and Adam Blades both come into the front row to join up with Harry Whitfield. Reuben Pollard is on the bench while Fran Entressengle and Alex Battye are out.
Hull Ionians could sew the title up with the visit of Leicester Lions with a big win, but Chester are lurking and hoping to prey on any slips.
Should Chester falter themselves against Otley, Huddersfield and/or Sedgley Park could make the final day very interesting by picking up four or five points this weekend.
Huddersfield: Tom Hodson, Elliott Spiers, Mark Pease, Will Milner, Elliot Knight, Chris Johnson, Jack Maplesden; Harry Whitfield, Ross Thornton, Adam Blades, Guy Borrowdale, Tor Borrowdale, Nick Sharpe, Lewis Bradley, Dickie Piper (captain)
Replacement: Reuben Pollard, James Davies, Harry Woodhouse, Adam Williamson, Joe Green