Caldy 10

Huddersfield RU 12

(National II North)

A FORTNIGHT ago at Hull, Chris Johnson just failed to secure victory for his side with a failed injury-time penalty, but he became the hero of the hour once again when he landed the winning three-pointer with the last kick of the match at Caldy.

It was Johnson’s trusty boot which proved to be the difference in a highly intense battle between two quality sides at Paton Field.

Despite the scoreline, the game was exciting with both sides trying to play expansive rugby in difficult conditions and Caldy thought they had won it after scoring a try through Gavin Roberts with only eight minutes left, to lead 10-9.

The visitors started the game with the benefit of a strong wind, but poor handling cost them early chances, although they did manage to take the lead on 26 minutes when Johnson knocked over the first of three penalties when Caldy were caught offside.

Andrew Soutar hit back with a penalty for Caldy four minutes later to level the match, which was how in finished at the end of the first half.

Caldy used their slight wind advantage as much as possible in the second half with Soutar putting them in some good positions with some excellent kicking, while Harry Broadbent dominated the lineout, but despite this they struggled for points in the face of some great defence, bolstered by the arrival of substitute prop Lawrence Sanderson.

Johnson put Huddersfield ahead again, three minutes after the restart, and then struck again by landing his fifth drop goal of the season on 66 minutes for a 9-3 lead.

With just eight minutes of normal time remaining, Caldy substitute Roberts found space in the 22 to race over for a score which Soutar converted to gain a one-point lead.

And the home side pressed forward to try and seal the points, but Field’s resilient defence drove them back time and again.

And then, having soaked up everything Caldy could throw at them, Huddersfield launched a run of pick-up and pushes downfield, and after a series of drives, referee Wayne Falla awarded Huddersfield a penalty when a Caldy player went over in a ruck.

Johnson stepped up to slot the winning points and maintain his 100% record for the day, which gained revenge following the meeting of the sides earlier in the season, when Richard Vasey did the same thing to Huddersfield.

Huddersfield Owen; Sutcliffe, L Paxman, Clark, Ryder; Johnson, Hinchliffe; Battye, Morrill, Stringwell, Rhodes, Davies, Hinchliff, Lewis, Sharpe. Subs: Hall, Duffy, Entressengle, Dempsey, Sanderson.

Caldy: Soutar, Barnish, Russell, Woof, Eaves, Broxson, Smith AJ, Parker, Rylance, Salisbury, King, Collister, Broadbent, Bansor, Dickinson. Subs: Smith J, Doolan P, Dowridge, Sewell, Roberts G.