Field lose out narrowly in a classic game of two halves in the Dales.
Huddersfield were 22 points down after just half an hour in their National 2 North match at Wharfedale but they battled back into contention to produce a game that went down to the wire. A Kian Stewart try before the interval marked the start of a great come back, with three more second half tries eventually bringing them to within a single point of their hosts.
Afterwards Huddersfield’s director of rugby, Gaz Lewis, said, ‘Wharfedale moved the ball well in the first half but our defence wasn’t up to scratch. Too many missed tackles and not enough energy across the defensive line meant it was always to be a big ask to claw back the deficit in the second half. Credit to the lads for battling hard and to come away with two bonus points is some consolation.’
Wharfedale fly half Tom Davidson got the scoreboard ticking with a third minute penalty and contributed four more first half points with two successful conversions following a brace of tries by winger Oscar Canny. Canny chased down his own kick for his first with two accurate long range passes finding him in space on the wing for his second.
Flanker Ryan Carlson then rounded off some fine team work with a third try. Although Davidson missed the conversion attempt the game had taken on a decidedly one sided aspect.
Field responded positively to their dire situation and finished the first half strongly. Kian Stewart posed a threat with a fine run down the right wing but although his ground breaking work faltered with a knock-on he didn’t have to wait long to open his account. The ball was passed along the line with Stewart finally taking possession on the left wing to run in the try. Will Miner added the conversion to make the half time score 22-7.
After the break Field produced a dominant spell, starving their hosts of possession for much of the third quarter. Milner notched an early penalty but the team’s hard work was not rewarded with a second try until the 65th minute, after Wharfedale had lost the services of winger Robert Davidson to the sin bin. Finlay Stewart was the man who cashed in on the one man advantage with a corner flag try after some good teamwork. Milner added the extras from the touchline.
Having reduced the deficit to just four points Field were hit hard by an immediate response from Wharfedale. A converted try by replacement scrum half Rory Macnab and an excellent long range penalty by Davidson left Field requiring three scores to steal the match.
Field maintained their ‘never say die attitude’ and continued to threaten. Ed Barber had been making his presence noticeable in the centre and a score on 75 minutes was a fitting reward for his endeavour. Having picked an excellent running line he cut inside for try number three which Milner converted.
With time almost up Field earned a well deserved try scoring bonus point. A penalty pegged Wharfedale back to within 10 metres of their line and after a solid lineout catch and well mounted driving maul hooker Liam Stapley dotted down for the fourth try. Milner rounded off the match with another successful conversion to leave him with a personal 100% strike record for the game.
Next Saturday Huddersfield entertain Fylde, kick off 2.15pm. The team in second place in the table have only lost three times this season and are sure to provide another stern test for Lewis’s men.
Huddersfield: Hodson; Stewart K; Workman; Barber; Stewart F; Milner; Wilson; Thompson; Myers; Rollins; Pearson; Brown; Parfitt; Bradley (capt); Brown. Replacements: Dawson; Swift; Potter; Law; Stapley.
Written by Richard Sykes.
Photo by Wharfedale RUFC.