A DETERMINED Huddersfield Under 17 side soaked up everything a strong Ilkley team could throw at them, and emerged with a battling 12-0 victory in this Yorkshire League Division II clash.
Both sides’ defences were evenly matched and although Huddersfield had the majority of possession in the first half they struggled to find a way through a well-organised Ilkley line.
Eventually they fashioned a break on 20 minutes, when quick ball from the back of ruck down the blindside helped winger Rob Heywood dart over in the corner.
Huddersfield had a couple more chances to add to Heywood’s effort, but unforced errors kept the score to 5-0 at the break.
Ilkley came out strongly to start the second half, but could not break through a watertight home defence. And after sustaining hard pressure, Huddersfield scored a game-sealing try when, from a 10-metre rolling maul, captain Jack Brannan went over, Tom Owen adding the extras.
To their credit Ilkley never gave up trying, but Huddersfield’s defence refused to give way, even with a seven-man scrum.
Outstanding performances in the backs came from Ross Carey and Tom van Rooyen, while debutant Phil Stanislaus and John Birkett shone for the forwards.
YMCA’s Under 13s entertained Wharfedale and were very good value for their 10-0 half-time lead, Sam Crompton scoring first, while Luke Johnson crossed for YM’s second try.
But after the break Wharfedale made three changes, bringing on their ‘big’ players and they made the difference.
After a poor kick, winger Shaun Scaramuzza managed to get to the ball quickly, but as he was on the floor and had to release it, it was picked up and run in by one of Wharfedale’s newcomers.
The score obviously lifted the visitors who crossed again two minutes later, and try as they might, YM were unable to breach the strengthened Wharfedale defence.
Shortly before the end the visitors scored a third try to wrap up an exciting game.