Huddersfield YMCA 41
(North I East)
After a stuttering start to the campaign in the higher division, YMCA finally hit the button and showed they are not be out of their depth.
The home side got into their stride early on and from the kick-off had the visitors on the back foot.
YM were held up short after a smart passage of play saw them held out close to the Middlesbrough line, but it was only a temporary respite as on six minutes they registered their first points through Lloyd Bentley on the left wing and Johnson stepped up to add the goal.
but in the absence of a kicking tee elected to take the conversion by way of a drop goal which in the event worked every bit as well as a place kick to leave the YM in the driving seat at 7-0 up.
They increased their lead when Ed Barber found Gavin Stead and the inside centre raced through on 40 metre sprint to the line – Johnson added the extras.
A melee in the middle of the field brought a yellow card for Ed Barber and Middlesbrough’s No6 Simon Moore, but it was nothing of a serious nature and the referee took the right option to take the heat out of the situation.
The YM were in control of the game and cruised through to half-time to lead 29-0, with the next of their touchdowns again coming from Stead – this time after good work by Adam Ryder.
Johnson was off the mark with the conversion but was back on target after skipper Mark Whitehead went over – and Johnson added a further penalty before the interval.
Middlesbrough had their taste of glory with an unconverted try but, although they persevered and never gave up the ghost, great defence by YMCA kept the visitors at bay.
YMCA’s momentum got going again when Sam Hodge knocked the ball out in a tackle on the Middlesbrough winger, and Ryder was on hand to scoop it up and race the 50 metres to the line.
Johnson was wide with his conversion attempt, but by that time it was not to have any impact on the outcome.
Wrafter was slightly unlucky at this stage to be given 10 minutes by the referee after his rather clumsy attempt at a tackle was adjudged to have been a shoulder charge.
The final score came on the back of some good work by new signing Nathan Chappell after he had taken up the centre position.
Chappell demonstrated a super turn of speed and an ability to beat the opposition before picking a hole in the defence out wide, which allowed Ryder to take the scoring pass and finish in the corner – Johnson added the final points.
YMCA: Johnson, Wrafter (L), Ryder, Stead, Bentley, Barber, Clayton, Wrafter (J), Hill, Dyke (Steve), Bell, Housley, Sharrock, Hodge, Whitehead. Interchange. Lumb, Dyke (Stu), Chappell.