HUDDERSFIELD Dragons’ Men’s second team have clinched promotion for the second successive season, and celebrated by walloping one of their main rivals Sheffield Hallam 4-0 in their latest Yorkshire League Division II clash.
Within five minutes of the start Huddersfield were on the board when Clark drove the back line, drawing the keeper and slipping the ball back to Sugden, whose goal-bound shot was poached by Richardson.
Elson was the next to score, a fine individual run leading to a reverse stick shot that by-passed the stranded Hallam keeper, and by the break Huddersfield were 2-0 to the good but still not playing the open expansive hockey they had prior to Christmas.
The second half saw much of the same, Huddersfield controlled the tempo and when a penalty corner was illegally stopped on the line, Wells dispatched the resulting stroke, and Lee then wrapped up the scoring with a neat finish past a tiring Hallam defence.
With three games remaining, Huddersfield require just four points to claim the divisional championship.
More impressive is that the Dragons have not dropped a point since the end of October 2009.
Sheffield Hallam II 1
Huddersfield Dragons 4
The penultimate game of the season was against already promoted top-of-the-table Sheffield Hallam Seconds and, within five minutes, Huddersfield feared the worst as Sheffield won a short corner on their first attack to put them 1-0 up.
Huddersfield were determined to keep up their excellent finish to the season and, almost immediately, David Pemberton picked up on a loose Sheffield pass and (despite being fouled) finished with an excellent reverse stick shot, which was swiftly followed by an excellent goal by Jimmy Swinden from a short corner on Huddersfield’s next attack.
Adam Fletcher finished well to make it 3-1 and Ed Haigh scored from close range after good pressure for a victory against the League champions and the best team performance of the season.
Team: Howarth, Swinden (M), Hannam, Buckley, Gregory, Courtney, Pemberton, Kelly, Swinden (J), Fletcher, Haigh, Austerberry.
Old Malton 7
Huddersfield Dragons III 0
THE thirds travelled to Old Malton hoping to continue their push for third place in the table and an outside opportunity of promotion, but table-topping Old Malton were in no mood to help the away team’s cause and went on the attack from the start.
It wasn’t long before they took the lead and had Bob McCallum in the Huddersfield goal not been on top of his game, the score could have been far worse.
Huddersfield managed a few attacks but never really looked like scoring and it soon became a matter of damage limitation against a well-drilled and clinical Malton side.
Team: McCallum, Abbey, Taylor, Haigh, Hales, Hindmarsh, Beaumont, Kelly, Dixon, Moscrop, Saxilby, Barker
Huddersfield Dragons IV 2
Sheffield Hallam VI 2
A VALUABLE draw for Dragons as they faced off against promotion hunting Sheffield Hallam down at Lockwood Park.
Huddersfield’s defence soaked up the early Sheffield pressure with Rich Batty, Si Waterhouse and man-of-the-match Will Jones throwing some excellent tackles and linking well with midfield to prevent their opponents scoring.
A fast counter-attack won a short-corner which Ash Cooke deflected in from a Ben Foo strike for his first goal and, 10 minutes later, he got his name on the scoresheet a second time with another goal from a short-corner to make it 2-0.
Sheffield pulled one back on the stroke of half-time and levelled in the second half.
Team: Cowden, Flavin, Waterhouse, Batty, Jones, Kelly, Parkes, Burnip, Gardener, Connell, Cooke, Foo, Pritchard.
Halifax III 7 Huddersfield Dragons V 0
HUDDERSFIELD were at the races for the first 10 minutes but once the opposition scored it was one-way traffic.
The Dragons did create some chances and even had one goal disallowed, while Ali Chaman and Gary Clarke running at pace stretched the home side, but Halifax broke at pace and were 3-0 up at half time.
The second half was a similar story and Halifax dominated the game to leave them second in the table.
Huddersfield Dragons VI 0 Halifax IV 3
DRAGONS sixth team faced a derby against Halifax and could have taken an early lead but for a reverse stick shot being saved by a diving keeper and his stick.
Halifax replied with a counter attack winning a short corner, and although the initial shot was stopped it was tapped in by the injector.
In the second half Huddersfield created few chances and Halifax took advantage, scoring shortly after the break with a clever deflection and then added a late third.