FIELD LOSE OUT IN THE ULTIMATE GAME OF TWO HALVES
Huddersfield scored five first half tries, to secure the bonus point and build up a commanding lead in their final National 2 North league game at Bournville. However, in a bizarre reversal of fortune, they conceded 43 unanswered points in the second half and lost the game 55 points to 33.
Head Coach Gaz Lewis said, ‘In the first half we did virtually everything right. We controlled field position, dominated the set piece and were clinical when opportunities came our way. In the second half we simply dropped off a cliff! To concede so many unanswered points was very disappointing. If ever there was an archetypal game of two halves, this was it.’
Bournville centre Max Craven opened the scoring with an unconverted try five minutes into the game but Field hit back with three tries in quick succession. Prop Callum Thompson, was the first to cross, dotting down from a catch and drive from a line out. Sam Nunn then charged down a kick on half way, and, having gathered the ball the centre raced through for a try under the posts, which Will Milner converted. From a high kick up field by Milner, Nunn then took advantage of a favourable bounce to put full back Tom Hodson in at the corner for try number three.
Winger, Ethan Walker, narrowed the gap for Bournville, breaking through at pace for a solo try, which fly half, Mitchell McGahan, converted with ease.
In a strong finish to the first period Field added a further 12 points to their tally. Having neatly side stepped his marker, Milner cruised in between the posts for a try, which he converted, with hooker Liam Stapley, rounding things off with the fifth try, to make the score 33-12 to Field at half time.
Huddersfield’s second half cause wasn’t helped by the sin binning of centre Lewis Workman and flanker George Hinchliff. It meant the visitors played half the final period with only 14 men and Bournville took full advantage.
The second half started with Bournville full back, Owen Williams scoring an unconverted try just before Workman’s dismissal, with their No.8, Callum Thompson, cashing in with their bonus point try, immediately after it. McGahan added the extras.
After Workman’s return to the pitch, Huddersfield steadied the ship and created a good chance to increase their lead when Thompson made a good break, with Kian Stewart in close support. Unfortunately Thompson’s pass went behind the on-running Stewart, who had open ground in front of him.
A dazzling try by Bournville winger Mikey Ho, converted by McGahan, and another by hooker James Randall, gave the home side a one point lead with 15 minutes remaining. Randell’s score came from a catch and drive, after a very good 50/22 kick by Williams, had given the hosts an attacking 5 metre lineout.
Hinchiff saw yellow on 68 minutes, following a technical infringement, just 10 minutes after taking the field as replacement, heralding the way for a final blitzkrieg by Bournville.
Tries by James Burgoyne and Jack Cantelo came quickly. Replacement prop Cantelo ran half the length of the pitch for his try, having picked up a grubber kick from Milner, which popped up nicely for him. McGahan, converted his score.
Centre, Edward Drake-Lee, got the final try of the afternoon on the stroke of full time, with McGahan’s successful conversion bringing the match to its end.
The defeat means Huddersfield finished second from bottom in the final National 2 North table, with the title, and promotion to National 1, going to Hull RFC. Gaz Lewis again, ‘It has been a tough season for everyone. The lads have dug in deep and deserve a well earned rest before we regroup for a fresh start next season.’
Huddersfield: Hodson; Cadogan; Workman; Nunn; Catleugh; Milner; Stewart; Thompson; Stapley; Smith; Sharpe; Pearson; Davis; Keighley-Payne; Bradley(c): Replacements: Hinchliff; Hampshire.