Huddersfield RUFC on brink of National III North title after bonus-point victory at Billingham

Percy Park stand between Lockwood Park side and the crown

Paul Welch Huddersfield RU v Beverley at Lockwood Park. Tom Hodson
Huddersfield RU v Beverley at Lockwood Park. Tom Hodson

Huddersfield secured a crucial bonus point 34-28 victory at Billingham and will be promoted as National III North champions if they beat Percy Park next week.

Despite a late rally from the hosts, Field were able to hold on for the win as they know their fate is now in their own hands.

Manager Lee Paxman, who has announced he’s leaving at the end of the season, said: “I thought we played a good controlled game. We were dominant in the scrum and Adam Lancaster had a great all-round performance filling in at hooker.”

With Stockport annihilating Rossendale 79-7, it was vital that Field also won with a bonus point and they did so with tries from Mike Clarke, Elliot Hodgson and two from

Tom Hodson, who also had a good day with the boot.

Despite the pressure caused from a Tony Stringwell yellow card, Field’s backs continued to link up well together as Hodgson and Hodson combined to score the try of the day.

Field went into the game knowing just how tough a game they would face having been pushed all the way in their 25-21 win in the reverse fixture.

Paxman said: “We were under some early pressure second half but managed to hold out and I thought we did well to force them back as Billingham came out fighting.

“They earned two bonus points which may just be enough to see them avoid relegation.”

Field can secure promotion if they win either of their two games in hand, where they face Percy Park and Sandal at home.

Paxman said: “We’ve got Percy Park next week, who are fighting for their lives and need a result. It’s a massive game for both sides and we want as much support as we can possibly get.”

However, Field cannot take either game for granted as Percy Park need a bonus point win to keep them in the league next season, while Sandal have already beaten Field’s title rivals Sale and Stockport this season.

With Sale losing this week, Field are guaranteed at least a play-off spot at worst if they are unable to pick up the four points that they need.

Huddersfield – Battye, Lancaster, Stringwell, Rhodes (G), Rhodes (N), Sykes, Hoyle, Sharpe (c), Jeffrey, Hinchliffe, Clarke, Owen, Van Rooyen, Hodgson, Hodson. Subs: Sanderson, Thornton, Hetherington.

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