Huddersfield 26-26 Otley….Match Report

Workman’s 200th game results in honourable draw.

On the occasion of his 200th appearance Huddersfield full back Lewis Workman led out and captained the team for their final National 2 North home match of the season against Otley. Both teams scored two tries in each half, with centre Harry Whitfield bagging a brace for the home side, to produce a 26-26 draw which was a fair reflection of the balance of play.

With nothing at stake in terms of league position both teams showed commitment in defence and enterprise in attack and delivered an open, even and entertaining spectacle for the sizeable crowd.

Field made a bright start and worked the ball through the phases, retaining possession for the first 5 minutes. Having knocked on inside the Otley 22 they maintained the pressure and forced penalties which they chose to play rather than kick. The ball was worked wide to Ed Barber who crashed over from short range for a try which he converted.

In a game that see-sawed throughout Otley drew level on 11 minutes, centre Joshua Sarsfield spinning deftly out of a tackle to touch down in the corner. Fly held Ed Crossland landed the first of his three conversions from wide out.

Whitfield re-captured the lead for Field with the first of his tries midway through the half after a strong individual line break by lock Lewis Quinn.

Otley equalised on the half hour to round off a good attacking spell. Field had missed a chance to clear after winning a lineout inside their 22 but they were penalised at the breakdown and Otley chose to scrummage. The ball went wide and full back Jacob Holmes cruised home for a try which Crossland converted.

The half ended with Barber attempting a penalty from halfway. With a strong wind at his back his kick sailed comfortably over the line but went wide of the posts to leave the score 14 14 at the break.

Otley took the lead 5 minutes after the interval. Having gained territory with a long kick with the wind the visitors pressured Field into penalties inside their 22. Easy points were turned down as Otley went is search of a try.  Eventually the ball was passed to the right where centre Louis Martin found a gap in the Field line. Crossland crafted an amazing conversion, using the wind to allow the ball to drift perfectly between the sticks.

Whitfield’s second try and Barber’s conversion put Field back on terms 5 minutes later. After the burly centre had crashed over for his try in the corner Barber defied storm Kathleen with an incredible kick into the wind from the touchline.

As the game moved into the final quarter Field were producing their best and were firmly in the driving seat. Quinn and replacement scrum half Paul Harrison were making their presence felt and after Quinn drove close and Otley were penalised Harrison tapped and nipped in for an unconverted try to re-gain the lead.

For several minutes Field pressed for another score to put daylight between them and Otley and leave the visitors requiring two scores to take the game.

Tom Baxter and Rory Gaffney were yellow carded for infringing in defence of their line but 13 man Otley held firm.

After another tilt in the see-saw Otley responded with a good spell and play returned to the Huddersfield half. With 5 minutes to go Conor Mullin stole in for the bonus point try for Otley but to the surprise of all and sundry Crossland’s kick, his easiest by far, bounced wide off the upright.

There was a late yellow for Field prop Andy Rollins before the game ended in the draw.

Field have two games remaining. They are away at Wharfedale next Saturday and Hull Ionians the week after.

Huddersfield: Workman; Foreman; Hawkyard; Whitfield; Stancliffe; Barber; Walker; Thompson; Myers; Rollins; Quinn; Barnard; Parfitt; Entressengle; Hammond. Replacements; Dawson; Harrison; Sanderson; Phayer; Neilley.

Written by Richard Sykes.

Photo by Ray Morris.








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