Blaydon 13-19 Huddersfield….Match Report

Fin Stewart hat-trick makes for a great day at the races in Blaydon

A superb hat-trick by Huddersfield winger Finlay Stewart was the highlight of a hard fought National 2 North match at Blaydon. Huddersfield took time to get going and the hosts twice took the lead with first half tries by Ethan Clarke and Darren Fearn. Field responded well to the early set backs with the first of their tries and a good spell of rugby just before half time. After the break they took control to earn a deserved 19-13 win.

After the game Huddersfield’s Director of rugby, Gaz Lewis, said, ‘We didn’t quite hit our straps today and there was an air of frustration about our play. That being said we did what we set out to do but Blaydon made us work extremely hard for the win. Full credit to Fin for his exceptional hat-trick’.

Blaydon made a lively start to the game and their early ambition was rewarded with an unconverted try just 10 minutes in. A fine break down the middle by hooker Charles Smith led to the ball being shipped to the right wing where Clarke managed to slide over the line.

Field were briefly back on terms on the half hour. Centre Lewis Workman broke ground and when he passed the ball to Stewart he outpaced the defenders down the right flank for the first of his three. Field then knocked on from the re-start and after a couple of well worked phases behind the scrum Blaydon drove over from close range, Fearn being the man to dot down. Will Milner for Field and Zach Thompson for Blaydon were both wide of the mark with their conversion attempts.

The final minutes of the first half were played out with Field playing some good rugby. There were noticeable contributions from the back row pairing of Jennings and Parfitt and Barber and Workman in the centre, but the moments of promise ended in frustration and Field remained 5 points in arrears at the interval.

Field were quickly into their stride after the break and were on the score-sheet again on 48 minutes. From a lineout inside the Blaydon half the Field pack produced an excellent 20 metre driving maul and with the Blaydon defence in retreat the ball went briskly through the hands of the half backs to the wing where Stewart once again showed his pace for try number two, which Milner converted to give Field the lead.

Other chances followed. An excellent 50/22 kick by Milner set up a good attacking position but although the catch from the lineout was clean the drive was halted by some determined defence from Blaydon. Stewart also had another scoring opportunity. With open ground in front of him the ball came down the line but the final pass went behind him as he accelerated up the touch-line .

Stewart’s hat-trick try and Milner’s conversion eventually put some daylight between the two teams with 15 minutes to go. Once again it was Stewart’s ability to exploit space with his speed that led to his score.

Blaydon pressed in the dying moments, forcing Field to work hard to defend their lead. In the end they had to settle for a losing bonus point, with Thompson landing a penalty from in front of the posts with the last kick of the match.

Huddersfield’s win gives them a 7 point cushion over the three teams below them in the table. Preston Grasshoppers and Harrogate both won, leaving Blaydon 6 points adrift of them at the bottom. Next Saturday Huddersfield host Rotherham Titans at Lockwood Park, kick off 2.15pm.

Huddersfield: Hodson; Stewart K; Workman; Barber; Stewart F; Milner; Potter; Thompson; Myers; Rollins; Pearson; Brown; Parfitt; Bradley (capt); Jennings. Replacements: Smith; Wilson; Jones; Dawson; Law.

 

Written by Richard Sykes.

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