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Last-gasp try denies Huddersfield victory at league leaders Tynedale

Agony for Gareth Lewis's battlers

Nick Sharpe scores for Huddersfield at Tynedale Picture by John Austin Contact

Huddersfield came within seconds of securing their first win of the season away at table-topping Tynedale, suffering an agonising 25-24 defeat.

Having led the National II North match from 12 minutes in they were undone by a try deep into stoppage time and lost the match by a single point.

“The result is certainly a bitter pill to swallow,” said head coach Gareth Lewis.

“The referee found an additional six minutes from somewhere and gave what appeared a very harsh penalty against our dominant scrum five metres from the Tynedale line.

“Despite the disappointing result, this was a big step forward. I asked for a response and the lads delivered in spades.

“They really fronted up and for large parts dominated a team who sit top of the league.

“The lads executed the game plan to a tee, but just a couple of errors proved costly and that’s what happens at this level.

“We’ve now set the benchmark and anything less than this is not good enough.

Dominant scrum for Huddersfield at Tynedale Picture by John Austin

“We are already looking forward to the game against Macclesfield next Saturday.”

After a nervy opening by both sides it was Huddersfield who settled into their patterns of play and dominated the first half.

As it drew to its close they were 19 points and three tries to the good, two of which were converted by fly half Jonny West.

The first came when Tynedale were caught on the back foot inside their own 22.

A powerful maul following a fine scrummage was rounded off by hooker Francis Entressengle.

Three minutes later Field went over for their second.

A penalty had pegged Tynedale back on their 5m line and another fine drive from the lineout resulted in skipper Alex Battye touching down.

Huddersfield’s forwards were controlling the match, dominating the scrummages and forcing their opponents backwards in open play.

Richie Piper, making his first start at No8, looked particularly impressive in the loose and was one of several repeatedly breaking through the Tynedale defensive lines.

A second try for Battye came on 28 minutes. A carbon copy of his first on the opposite flank.

Adam Malthouse scores for Huddersfield at Tynedale Picture by John Austin

However, with only four minutes of the first half remaining, the tide started to turn in favour of the league leaders.

Huddersfield lost possession when a high kick out of defence was comfortably taken and Tynedale’s lively backs were able to show their class for the first time in the match.

A 30m break and some neat passing exchanges down the right wing resulted in flanker Drew Davidson going in for the first of his team’s four tries, with Ash Smith notching the first of his three conversions.

A successful penalty by West on 40 minutes gave Huddersfield the final score of the half but when Ben Hoyle was yellow carded in stoppage time it left them a man light at the start of the

Tynedale made the most of their one-man advantage and 10 minutes later they trailed by only a point.

Huddersfield’s defence was stretched left and right and tries by Louis Frankland and Dan Taylor, both converted by Smith, followed.

Alex Battye scores for Huddersfield at Tynedale Picture by John Austin

Hoyle’s return helped restore first half form and saw them press hard for a fourth try.

On 65 minutes Tynedale lock Johnny Cousin was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on when it looked imminent, but when Huddersfield were uncharacteristically penalised at their own scrummage Tynedale were able to clear their lines.

With time almost up Huddersfield took a kick at goal from a penalty option which West duly landed from 30 yards out.

This left Tynedale needing a try to win.

Huddersfield took the ball from the re-start with their forwards intent on running the clock down by working it through a series of close quarter phases.

Alas possession was eventually lost, enabling the home side to launch one final onslaught which eventually brought a match-winning corner-flag try by left winger Rob Parker.

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