HUDDERSFIELD RU 10
AFTER a sterling first-half performance, Huddersfield found themselves stuck in the Westoe quagmire and forced to play second fiddle to a bigger and stronger home pack.
Playing downhill in the first half, Huddersfield really needed to reach half time with a useful points advantage, but unfortunately found themselves seven points down after just five minutes, when Westoe went under the sticks.
The visitors then knuckled down and began to consolidate with some good driving mauls keeping Westoe pinned down in their own half, and then they struck themselves.
The move started around the halfway line, and the ball went through several pairs of hands before Chris Johnson whipped out a pass to supporting full-back Tom Owen who came into the line at pace and swept over in the corner for an excellent score, which Johnson topped off with a brilliant touchline conversion to level the match.
Johnson and his opposite number swapped further penalties before half-time to leave the game in the balance at 10-10.
But it was always likely to be difficult to progress up the hill in the mud in the second half, and that’s how it proved as Westoe’s heavier pack kept a stranglehold on Huddersfield and despite some strong driving runs from Nick Sharpe and Ben Harris (the latter playing after being restricted to nothing more than a ‘bench vigil’ for England counties the previous night in Stourbridge), Huddersfield were unable to break clear.
Westoe took the lead with a second try and extended it with a penalty as Huddersfield failed to capitalise after creating one or two chances to break clear.
And in the closing moments, the South Shields side went over for try No3, which added to a conversion totally sunk Huddersfield and denied them any chance of salvaging even a single bonus point.
It was a disappointing loss after battling away to a great 23-16 win over Rugby Lions the previous week, and leaves Huddersfield still in a precarious position, fourth bottom of National II North, although they do have a number of home games against teams just above them in the League before the end of the season, starting next Saturday with the game against Harrogate.
YMCA’s re-arranged home game with Hessle was called off late on Saturday morning, when the East Yorkshire side claimed they were unable to raise a side.