(National II North)
DAN HYDE revelled on his return to Cross Green as his side blew Otley away with a five-try demolition and ended the first half of the season on an eight-game unbeaten streak.
Huddersfield were bound to be up for this game given the history between Otley and the Lockwood Park coaching staff of Hyde and Ian Shuttleworth, and it was no surprise when the visitors forced a turnover on the first play of the game.
And after good work from Lee Paxman he popped the ball up winger to Adam Ryder who raced from the halfway line, taking two men over the tryline with him, Chris Johnson landing the conversion from the touchline.
Otley’s player-coach Tom Rock did briefly level the match on 19 minutes when he went over for a try, converted by winger James Twomey, before Johnson put Huddersfield back in front with a penalty three minutes later.
Huddersfield then took firm control, with skipper Nick Sharpe bouncing over the line for his eighth try of the season, and then on the half-hour mark, full-back Tom Owen came into the line to score, both tries being converted by Johnson to give the visitors a 24-7 lead at the break.
They were soon into their stride again in the second half, with forward power – including second half substitutes Franny Entressengle and George Hinchliff – pushing Otley back into their own half, and Johnson stroked over his second penalty.
By now Huddersfield were in complete control and flying winger Ryder scored his second try – and his eighth of the season – going round behind the sticks making Johnson’s goal a formality.
The final try was a bit bizarre as Otley’s defence fanned out from a ruck, leaving a gaping hole in the middle and winger Dave Hall simply picked up the ball and crashed over the line.
Chris Duffy and Adam Sutcliffe came on for Joel Hinchliffe and Hall, while head coach Hyde came on himself for Gavin Rhodes, as all the substitutes were given a chance to stretch their legs with the rout now complete.
Rock did add a late second try for Otley, who included two former Huddersfield players in prop Adam Blades and winger James Wood, but it couldn’t take the gloss off what was a comprehensive victory and Huddersfield’s first ‘double’ of the season.
Hyde and his men, who go into the Christmas period sat second in the table, behind Loughborough Students, now have a three-week lay-off before returning to League action at Hull on January 7.
“After three potentially very difficult matches against Preston, Ionians and Otley I’m delighted to be going into the Christmas break with an eight-game winning run,” said Hyde (who has had a minor operation on an ankle).
“The lads really took the game to Otley, and I thought our two wing forwards Ben Hoyle and Gaz Lewis were simply outstanding. We now have a break to get everyone over their bumps and bruises before we start again, when hopefully we can carry on where we left off.”
Huddersfield: Owen; Ryder, Clark, L Paxman, Hall (Sutcliffe 57); Johnson, Hinchliffe (Duffy 56); Battye, Morrill (Entressengle 41), Stringwell, Davies (Hinchliff 41), Rhodes (Hyde 63), Lewis, Hoyle, Sharpe.
Otley: Collins, Twomey, Harris, Wood, Naylor, Rock, Gemmell, Blades, Mobbs, Burkinshaw, Stannard, Willett, Williams, Baker, O’Donnell. Subs: Coupland, Fradgley, McMillan, Watts, Margetson.