Unbeaten Huddersfield YMCA Colts have won the Northern Area of the National Shield.
They beat Bolton 26-18 at Laund Hill and will now face the Midlands Shield winners in the national semi-finals.
Both teams were more than ready for the encounter, given there was much at stake.
The game began at a fast pace and both sides played some lovely running rugby, but it was Bolton who were on the board first after YM were penalised in front of their own sticks.
It didn’t take too long for YM to respond, a barreling run from Sheldon McFadzean from the back of a ruck taking him under the posts, the conversion following from Danny Flanagan.
YM’s confidence was brimming and, within the next 10 minutes, they were over for two more converted tries, the first through captain Will Perfitt after some outstanding work from the forwards.
The second was a great individual try from No10 Sam Pegg. Throwing an outrageous dummy, he was able to skip past several defenders to score under the posts.
Having been under such pressure, Bolton came fighting back and after some great phase play, were able to score through their left wing, which made the score 21-10 at half time.
After the interval it was Bolton applying most of the pressure.
YM’s discipline was beginning to slip and Bolton were there to capitalise, first with a penalty and then with a try.
YM were able to compose themselves as the game was close at 21-18.
Both teams showed courageous defence and, with only seven minutes to go, it was YM’s Oliver Whitaker who got his hands on a bouncing ball after a cross-field kick. Whitaker raced from 30m out to score.
Team: Flanagan, Burley, Briggs, Landu, Smith, Pegg, Dodson, McFadzean, Perfitt, Hawker, Priestly, Hanson, Chadwick, Wood, Horsfall. Interchanges: Kenworthy, Kelly, Paga, Whitaker, Bennett, Longley.