Huddersfield RUFC conquered Preston Grasshoppers in a vital clash at the bottom end of the table to secure their seventh win of the season and increased the points deficit to 15 between themselves and the visitors, ranked 15th in the National League 2 North.
The battle to remain in the division has taken a tremendous turn as January approaches it’s end, seeing Field rise from the relegation zone after a string of performances and results fit for a side more than worthy for a spot in the division.
Lockwood Park had an air of anticipation around it as the starting XV took to the pitch with an assured confidence of a side out to clinch their third win on the bounce.
Somewhat unfittingly, Grasshoppers took first blood of the game. Chris Taylor put the visitors ahead early on, capitalising on Field’s failure to close Preston down quick enough on the 5-metre line to punish the hosts eight minutes in.
Rattled by the visitors early try, a number of unforced errors managed to creep into Huddersfield’s game as play continued, but the tenacity in which has now become all too familiar to the fans at Lockwood Park took precedence once more as Field recaptured their rhythm.
Liam Stapley has stepped up to the fold in fine fashion this season, and on the 15-minute mark put Fields first try of the afternoon up on the board.
Field then took the lead 10 minutes before half time. Clever movement and link up play between Tom Hodson and Kian Stewart created a stretch of green for Stewart to turn on the after burners and put the ball over the line, proving once more just how vital these two players have been to the squad this season.
Field’s momentum was impeded on the stroke of half time, Preston regained the lead after being allowed too much time to move and put the ball over the line for the try to end the half at 15-12.
No doubt Gareth Lewis dispatched some stern words at half time regarding some sloppy mistakes and failures to apply the pressure a game of this intensity deserved, the Field players replied by taking back the lead with 2 long range penalties, struck cleanly by a confident Will Milner.
Lockwood Park was then launched intro raptures as Lewis Bradley provided the heroics, quick thinking and even quicker feet saw him work the gap and score on the hour mark to seal the third try of the afternoon.
“It was a tough encounter out there, but we are delighted to get another four points. Despite a poor start our defence we held firm for most of the game and importantly we kept our discipline. It was an important victory as many of the teams around us in the league also won today. We now have crucial back to back away games at Wharfedale and Sheffield Tigers” said Head Coach Gareth Lewis.
The result sees Huddersfield rise to twelfth but are still teetering on the edge of the relegation zone with only one point separating them from the bottom three. They will be looking to increase the breathing space with a win next week against Wharfedale.