HUDDERSFIELD are aiming to finish the rugby union season on a high after sweeping away any lingering fears of relegation from National III North with a 43-25 win over Harrogate at Lockwood Park.
It was a second successive league win for Mark Sowerby’s side after eight defeats in a row, and with games against Darlington Mowden Park (home, May 9) and Kendal (away, May 16) to come, hopes are high of improving on a current placing of 11th in the 14-team table.
Huddersfield were 51-7 victors over Harrogate in the first round of the Yorkshire Cup earlier this month, but the visitors were understrength on that occasion, so the latest clash was expected to be far tougher.
Harrogate scored first when stand-off Nick Wainwright crossed and added his own conversion, then a penalty.
But opposite number Chris Johnson knocked over a penalty, then added the extras to brother Matt’s try to level the game at 10-10.
Full-back Ben Paxman scored Huddersfield’s second try, then No8 Nick Sharpe went in just before the break, with a Johnson conversion and a Wainwright penalty for Harrogate making it 22-13 at the turnaround.
The second half was close, with Aaron Yorke and Sam Bottomley grabbing tries for Harrogate, one of them converted, to put them three points ahead.
But Huddersfield, who beat Fylde 44-32 the week before, weren’t prepared to throw in the towel, and roared back with a try by winger Alex Shaw, and another from skipper and flanker Mark Whitehead, both of which were converted by Johnson.
Scrum half Damian Clayton went over late on for the last of Huddersfield’s six tries, with Johnson adding his fifth conversion to complete a deserved 13th league victory.
Huddersfield: Paxman (B); Shaw, Paxman (L), Clarke, Johnson (M); Johnson (C), Hinchliffe; Stringwell, Davies, Slater, Rhodes, Hinchliff, Jacobsz, Whitehead, Sharpe. Subs: Sharrock, Entressengle, Van Rooyen, Battye, Clayton.