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Luke Pogson grabs decisive try and man of the match award as Underbank win record 15th Holliday Cup final against St Joseph's

Crowd of 1,000 enjoy thrilling amateur rugby league showpiece

Luke Pogson dived over in the seventh minute of extra-time to grab the decisive try for Underbank Rangers in a thrilling Holliday Cup final.

It took the stand-off’s personal tally of points to 10 and earned him the man-of-the-match award as they toppled higher-division opponents St Joseph’s 32-28 at Laund Hill.

A crowd of around 1,000 were gripped as Division II title chasers Underbank stood toe-to-toe with Championship side St Joe’s and never gave an inch.

It had looked like the Cup was heading back up the Holme Valley in normal time as Joe Bellas seemed certain to complete his hat trick when diving for the line, but referee Jason Woodman ruled a knock-on and, with Bellas yellow-carded for interfering at the re-start, St Joe’s had one more chance.

With the clock ticking down and Underbank leading 22-18, a kick to the right wing was gathered by Nick Mitchell and the scores were tied.

Jakob Garside, who finished with eight points to his name, was narrowly off target with what would have been the winning kick and the teams – working hard in hot, draining conditions – faced 20 minutes of extra time.

It was coach Richard Wilde’s Underbank who then took the final by the scruff of the neck.

Firstly, with only four minutes played of the first period, Jayden Covell-Wood darted through to score after Underbank had turned down a kickable penalty, with Pogson missing out on the conversion.

Then Pogson nipped over the whitewash after being set up by Tom Stringer, with skipper Oliver Moorhouse adding on the extras.

It gave Underbank a 10-point advantage, 32-22, at that stage and, even though St Joe’s kept going right to the end – scoring in the dying seconds through Tom Guinan before Garside goalled – it was enough for Underbank to post a record 15th win in the Huddersfield Amateur Rugby League Association’s historic knockout.

The first half was very tight, with Lee St Hilaire scoring an unconverted try for St Joe’s after only four minutes and Moorhouse replying for Bank on 24, although Pogson missed some easy extras when rattling his conversion attempt against the underside of the bar.

It remained 4-4 at half time, but then both sides scored converted tries, with skipper Joe Flaherty putting St Joe’s ahead on 55 and Marc Hirst replying.

Bellas then gave Underbank the lead for the first time on 63 minutes, Pogson landing the kick, but Jason Oldfield went over on 68 and, with Garside’s conversion, it was 16-16.

A 30m Garside penalty put St Joe’s ahead with eight minutes remaining, but Bellas ran between defenders for his secondscore on 74 and pogson’s kick put them four ahead before Mitchell set up the grandstand extra-time.

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