Huddersfield RUFC beat Huddersfield Laund Hill 26-14 in an ‘over 35’s’ festive fixture at Lockwood Park. The teams delivered an entertaining five try show for spectators who had braved the elements to attend and over £600 was raised for the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation at the match.
In a closely contested first half Laund Hill opened the scoring with a converted try after five minutes but the home side finished strongly and equalised before the break. Ben Hill was the scorer for Laund Hill with Eddie Newman getting the try for Huddersfield.
Huddersfield were performing well in the scrummage and lineout and they extended their lead on the back of their solid set piece possession with two more tries after the break. Ben Clough was first over the white wash followed by prop Tony Stringwell, who won a 40 metre foot chase to dot down after the ball was fly hacked through.
Laund Hill always looked threatening on the counter attack and put themselves back in contention when Hill scored a second try. Vets from both teams produced classy moments reminiscent of their youthful selves and John Smith for Laund Hill and Alex Battye for Huddersfield delivered impressive kicking displays to secure the extra points with their conversions. The game was finally settled in Huddersfield’s favour by Andy Lyon who rounded off the final play with a fourth try for his team.
During the game a collection was made for the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation followed by a raffle in the clubhouse afterwards. £631.91 was raised for the charity.
MND charities have been embraced by the rugby community, with high profile fund raising campaigns being run by Scottish rugby union international Doddie Weir and Leeds Rhinos star Rob Burrows, both of whom were stricken by the illness. The more recent diagnosis of Gloucester lock Ed Slater with the condition has kept the charitable efforts to tackle the disease in the rugby world’s consciousness.
In August former Huddersfield Town player Marcus Stewart was diagnosed with MND. Marcus Stewart’s sons Kian and Finlay both play rugby for Huddersfield and the Christmas fund raiser was the first of a series planned by the Huddersfield club to support Marcus and the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation.
Written by Richard Sykes.
Photo by Sean Doyle.
Foot note….Several Huddersfield players picked up injuries during the match. Gareth Tinker had to leave the pitch and was replaced by Cloughy from the Laund Hill bench. Andre Baillon, who had just come down to watch, then borrowed Gareth’s kit and took to the field so that Huddersfield could finish the match with 15 men. Also, hats off to skipper George, who persevered until the end with a dislocated shoulder injury and others who suffered knocks and carried on to see the game out.