HUDDERSFIELD Dragons Men’s first team travelled to Leeds to face Gryphons Second team looking for that elusive first win of the season, but were denied with a 3-2 reversal.
The match started positively with the Dragons soaking up pressure from the university side before exploding on the counter attack with Jimmy Swinden setting up Si Courtney for a deft finish past the keeper.
And Dragons continued to frustrate Gryphons, with solid defence, but this was finally broken when a generous penalty decision was given and subsequently converted, while second penalty corner goal left them a goal behind at the interval.
The fireworks began in the second half, with Dragons denied both a goal and a penalty which would have put then back in contention.
Leeds scored from a second penalty corner before Oliver Clark saw yellow after mistaking a Leeds player for a ‘piñata,’ reducing Huddersfield to 10 men.
However, they quickly replied with James Austerberry scoring a volleyed goal to reduce the deficit to one.
The Dragons continued to press for the equaliser with 10 men, before briefly being restored to a full complement, only for Clark to again get yellow-carded after molesting a Leeds player in the corner, leaving them returning empty-handed.
Huddersfield IV 7 Airedale II 1
THE fourth string continued their fantastic start to the season with a dominant display against Airedale, attacking straight from the off, stealing possession and scoring inside the first minute.
A second goal came a minute later and although Airedale re-grouped, they were unable to create any chances, with their danger man clearly ‘in the pocket’ of Walker.
The first half ended with a second goal for Greenberry and a fantastic team goal finished off by Raddon.
The second half continued to see the Dragons dominate with both Coopers causing problems, while Airedale were kept to limited chances and Gilbert pulled off a couple of good saves when called upon.
They did manage to pull a goal back, but further goals by Walker, Foo and a great goal from Harry Cooper saw the Dragons extend their lead to keep Huddersfield at the top of the league.
They have now won all but one (a draw against the fifths) of their games this season and have accumulated 19 points, which is the same as they had from the whole of last season.
Huddersfield V 2 Halifax IV 0
DESPITE losing their four best players to the fourths, the re-shaped Dragons were looking to prove they could still play some decent hockey.
They started well, creating some nice overlaps and Paul Barker was unlucky not to score a first time shot, but the game settled into a stalemate with both teams marking their opposite numbers tightly and leaving precious few gaps for either side to exploit.
Huddersfield made some tactical changes at half time and even though they were reduced to 10 men, after their captain had a minor falling-out with the Halifax umpire, they took the lead when a free-hit inside the 25 was pushed into the Halifax D, hit the near post and was swept in at the far post by Max Bowden.
Huddersfield extended their lead when Dan Cooper capped a superb guest performance in midfield by finishing a mazy run with a neat flick into the corner deceiving the Halifax keeper.
Another good team performance, with Barker, Dallas, Clancy and Brown outstanding in midfield, while up front Max Bowden and Olly Moorhouse ensured Halifax could never relax.