A GUTSY Huddersfield YMCA performance was almost enough to take the spoils against a tough Rossendale outfit, but unfortunately the home side couldn’t put away their chances and went down 16-11.
In the first few minutes it was all Rossendale but YMCA held out and were awarded a penalty which Simon Wilson stepped up and slotted over.
Soon after YMCA’s prop Chris Moore and Rossendale’s No8 Dan Collins were both sent to the sin-bin after an altercation at the ruck.
It left the YM in a weakened position as they had been doing well in the scrum up to that point but a shortage of fit props saw the adaptable James Bell having to step up to the front row.
Rossendale got into gear and winger George Peel managed to squeeze in for a try in the corner but centre Steve Nutt was off target with the conversion attempt.
The visitors struck again before half-time when full back Joe Mcluskie managed to break through and flanker Jordan Lord was in support to take the final pass and claim a second try. Once again Nutt was adrift with his conversion.
In the second half the YM were back in the game and good work through the forwards saw the ball taken deep into Rossendale territory.
Centre Adam Ryder was on hand to crash through the defence and flanker Sam Hodge was the man to cross for the score – Wilson couldn’t manage the conversion.
Just two points adrift YMCA continued to batter away and looked to be getting on top of the encounter.
Their cause was enhanced when Rossendale’s winger Atiola was yellow carded for interference at the breakdown.
Unfortunately YMCA couldn’t capitalise on their man advantage and when a YM player was adjudged to have put in a shoulder charge and not attempt to tackle, Rossendale’s Nutt was quick to add three points to his tally.
The YM continued to work hard and Ryder was causing mayhem in the defensive ranks with blockbusting runs which left a trail of downed players in his wake.
Unfortunately the home side could not quite finish things off and matters turned against YMCA when second rower Glynn Edwards was given a red card.
Saif came on for Housley and immediately made his presence was felt with some powerful runs at the heart of the defence.
Ryder and Stead continued to force Rossendale into some defensive graft and Moore and Watson were keen for work taking the ball up into contact with regularity.
The YM were having the better of the game by this time and no one would have been surprised if they had managed to pull off a win, however Nutt steadied the Rossendale ship with another three points from a penalty arising from an offence at the breakdown, leaving the YM two scores adrift with not much time on the clock.
YMCA came back again and continued to press forward forcing Rossendale onto the back foot but the defence managed to hold firm and try as they might the YM couldn’t force their way over the line.
With time ticking away the home side won a penalty near the posts, common sense
dictated that Wilson should try and get his side in losing bonus point territory which he duly did posting the final score at 11-16.
YMCA came back onto the attack from the restart but their was insufficient time left on the clock leaving the referee to blow for full time and the YM to wonder how they had managed to lose the match.
There will be an element of disappointment in the YM camp with this result.
Yet again it was a game they could have won if they had just managed to finish their chances.
Notwithstanding, this was a good performance with plenty of commitment on display.
YMCA: Fletcher, Morton, Stead, Ryder, Pooloogadoo, Ledgard, Wilson, Moore, Emsley, Watson, Housley, Edwards, Hodge, Starbuck, Bell. Inrerchange: Robertson, Saif, Wrafter