Huddersfield YMCA earned a valuable point from a hard fought 16-16 draw away to Wirral in the National III North Division.
With both sides languishing near the foot of the table ahead of the game, it was vital to both that they took maximum points and it showed in the play.
YMCA dominated the opening exchanges and had territorial advantage, while a much changed Wirral side struggled to settle into the game.
However, it was not long before Wirral grew in confidence and when James Annetts stole possession deep in his own half he embarked on a 50 metre run down field to turn the tables on the first half, but tries were hard to come by as both sides lacked the final killer pass.
YMCA went behind in the 35th minute after Craig Harvey converted a penalty for Wirral, but the Laund Hill outfit replied almost immediately with a penalty of their own when Gavin Stead converted to make the half-time score 3-3.
The visitors rode their luck at the start of the second half as the home side upped their intensity, even though Wirral’s influential No8 Keith Mahon was withdrawn due to a head injury.
The pressure forced YMCA’s defence into a costly mistake, which Ali Baker capitalised on with a fine try which saw him beat three defenders before crossing the try line to make it 8-3.
Despite missing the conversion, Harvey made amends to convert a penalty 35 metres out to extend the home sides lead.
YMCA kept their heads up and worked hard to fight their way back into the game with Stead (picturd) converting a penalty and adding the goal to a penalty try, which saw the visitors take an 13-11 lead.
The visitors sensed victory and with time running out made more careless errors which were punished once again.
After losing possession deep in oposition territory Wirral made the move of the match, Harvey moved the ball right to Matt Loon who drew the defence before laying off to James Annetts who evaded YMCA’s tackles to touchdown from 35 metres out to take a 16-13 lead with three minutes remaining.
However, YMCA never gave up and Wirral themselves succumb to the pressure of leading, conceding a penalty 35 metres out for Stead to hold his nerve and convert to level the scores.
With the match finishing in a 16-16 draw it left both sides disappointed after they squandered leads late on, with a point having little impact on their league standings.
Huddersfield YMCA: Stead; Morton, Van Rooyen, Dalby, Bentley; Wood, Wilson; Slater, Hill, Moore, Bell, Housley,Knightingale, Hodge, Whitehead. Replacements: Willens, Lumb, Dyke