Huddersfield YMCA’s hopes of survival in National III North are hanging by a thread following a disappointing 25-23 home defeat to bottom club Burnage.
The Laund Hill men couldn’t replicate their blistering performance against Birkenhead Park and Burnage didn’t play like a side with all hope lost – hence the upset as some lapses in YM discipline took their toll.
YM started well, playing brisk, positive rugby.
Morton opened the scoring after seven minutes from a cheeky Wilson chip and the scrum half added the extras for 7-0.
Wilson added to the tally minutes later with a penalty, but Burnage rallied by using their excellent maul, with Wilson punished for forcing it to ground and earning a yellow card.
A reshuffle was then required to accommodate the need to have a full compliment of front row forwards on the field and it was Robertson, who had been having a good game up to that point, who was required to take time out on the bench.
Burnage took the opportunity to reduce the arrears with an Adam Knight penalty, but Wilson responded with two penalties to make it 16-3.
No8 Ralph Lawson pulled a try back for Burnage and then things went horribly wrong for YM as flanker Andy Ashcroft went over again, with Knight adding the conversion for 16-15 at half time.
YM’s questioning of a penalty decision soon gave the visitors chance to get their noses in front.
Referee Cook was having no backchat and promptly marched the YM back 10m. Still not satisfied, YM continued to dispute the decision, giving Mr Cook good grounds to march them back a further 10m, thereby making a difficult kick considerably easier. Knight proved the point by slotting the ball over.
It was starting to go pear shaped for the YM and wasn’t helped when Edwards was yellow carded for interference at the breakdown.
The visitors took advantage of the YM’s loss of concentration and once again managed to rumble the ball strongly towards the YM line where they claimed another try through second row Dave Hopkins. Knight added the extras leaving the YM demoralised and needing something a bit special to rescue the situation and 25-16 down.
The home side dug in and started to pressure the Burnage defence.
Young stand off Jack Ledgard – playing because the team clubbed together to buy him a later flight out on a break – was unlucky not to get on the scoreboard when he threw a lovely dummy in midfield to outfox the defence and set off on a sprint for the line. He was hauled down a couple of feet short.
YM, however, kept coming back and a neat break down the short side by Wilson enabled him to feed the ball to Adam Ryder who took it on and drew the defence before giving a lovely pass to the supporting Sam Hodge to score.
The YM continued to try and force the issue but Burnage held out for a deserved win.
Now, something extraordinary needs to happen in the next four matches to prevent a drop back into North I East.
YMCA: Fletcher, Morton, Chappell, Ryder, Bentley, Ledgard, Wilson, Watson, Elmsley, Moore, Robertson, Housley, Starbuck, Hodge, Edwards. Interchange; Seif, Twigg, Bell