HUDDERSFIELD St Joseph’s followed up last week’s first victory of the season with a 28-28 draw at Elland in the Pennine league Premier Division.
But they were pushed all the way by Elland and had to settle for a share of the points after letting a 24-12 lead slip.
The game started with both packs exchanging blows in a fierce opening 10 minutes, but it was Elland who were first on the scoresheet with a converted try to put them 6-0 ahead.
However, Saints hit back with a try from centre Ben Lewis, who powered over three defenders to score, and Neil Barrett converted to level the scores.
Five minutes later, the lively Richard Aka raced in to score, with Barrett again converting to make it 12-6.
St Joseph’s continued to push forward and, after a good break by Paul Horsfall, Lee St Hilaire raced in from 50m.
Barrett converted to put Saints 18-6 ahead.
But Elland hit right back with a try of their own before St Joseph’s took a half-time 24-12 lead when Richard Brooke scored after bustling through four defenders.
Early in the second half, full-back Darren Kelly was sin-binned for holding down after preventing a certain try and, as in last week’s game against Kippax, Elland hit right back with three tries in a 10-minute spell to lead 28-24.
The game then saw a battle royal for the next 25 minutes as both sides pushed and shoved each other around in the search for the winner.
With three minutes remaining, a break by Aka saw him feed St Hilaire who jinked and weaved round several defenders to go over to tie the scores.
The drama didn’t end there as a Saints error from the kick-off meant a scrum for Elland 20m out.
From the resultant play-the-ball Elland went for a winning drop goal only for it to fall short and see both sides take a point.
Head coach Jody Shaw said after the game: “I have mixed emotions of the game.
“Elland is a very tough place to win and so, in that respect, we have picked up three League points from a possible four in our last two games which were both away.
“But I have to say I was disappointed we let a 12-point lead slip.
“Credit has to go the players, though, who once again stuck to the task and ground out a point.”