Huddersfield RU 34
Preston Grasshoppers 31
(National II North)
A RETURN to basics put Huddersfield back on the winning track in the League and saw them pick up a welcome bonus point with a five-try display.
Prior to the visit of Preston, Huddersfield had enjoyed a National II North win only once since January, and after such a great first half of the season, they desperately needed to get back on the winning trail to stop the campaign unravelling.
But it began to look unlikely early in this contest at Lockwood Park as they trailed by 17 points after the opening quarter-of-an-hour.
Preston’s No8 Dominic Moon opened his side’s account with a try after just seven minutes, and although kicker Nathan Fowles made a hash of his first two attempts, Hoppers were into double figures two minutes later when coach Karl Fitzpatrick crossed for try No2.
And worse was to follow for Huddersfield, as Moon went in for his second and Preston’s third try, this time Fowles landing the conversion for a 17-0 lead.
Chris Johnson finally got Huddersfield moving when he went over for the first try which he also converted, and then winger David Hall pulled another score back with the first of his brace of tries, Johnson again adding the extras.
Field were now starting to flow and Adam Ryder put his side ahead with his 12th try of the season, followed by Hall’s second of the match.
Preston refused to lay down, however, and responded with their fourth try by Fowles, converted by new kicker Kilian Wallace to level the game at 24-24.
With 10 minutes remaining, the home side’s full-back Tom Owen went over the whitewash, converted by Johnson, who also added what turned out to be a crucial penalty on 75 minutes.
Wallace added Preston’s final try on the stroke of full time, converted by Fowles, but it was too late to deny Huddersfield an excellent come-from-behind victory.
Huddersfield: Owen; Hall, B Paxman, Clark, Ryder; Johnson, Hinchiffe; Stringwell, Lancaster, Davies, Brown, Rhodes, Entressengle, Hoyle, Sharpe. Subs: Armitage, Black, Hyde, Knight, Duffy.
Preston Grasshoppers: Taylor, Gargett, Fitzpatrick, Ward, Baines, Allen, Fowles, Irvine, Holmes, Morton, Austin, Steel, Wallace, Charters, Moon. Subs: Mills, Gale, Murphy, Smith, Hughes.
Referee: Tom Foley.