By Richard Sykes

Huddersfield’s relegation from National 2 North was confirmed by a 94-26 defeat by Hull Ionians at Brantingham Park.

The hosts ran in 14 tries, four of which came in a blistering 15-minute opening spell. Field responded in the second quarter with tries by Andy Rollins, Thiu Barnard and Joe Hawdon, all of which were converted by Ed Barber, but Ionians added two more to their tally in between them to take a healthy 19-point lead at the interval.

Hull Ionians produced another devastating start in the second period of play, adding seven more tries by the 65 minute mark. Full-back Lewis Minikin took his personal contribution to the try count to five and scrum-half Sam Pocklington made his four.

Although Laurence Sanderson secured a bonus point try for Field seven minutes from time fittingly it was the Ionians who had the last word.

With time almost up centre Will Yates scored a final try and ‘Man of the Match’ Minikin wrapped up the scoring with his 12th conversion to take his points score to 47 for the day.

The Ionians needed a bonus point win in the final match of the season to give them any chance of avoiding the drop themselves.

Fellow strugglers Billingham, who were hosting league leaders Rotherham Titans, started the day just four points ahead of them.

Although the Titans got the expected win to take the championship Billingham managed to get a try scoring bonus point to remain above the drop zone.

This left the fate of the East Yorkshire club dependent on results in National 2 East and West, with only two from three of the second bottom clubs at Level 4 destined for relegation.

In the end it was the massive points difference secured in the game against Huddersfield that saved them. With an otherwise identical playing record Wimbledon from N2E were the team forced down on account of an inferior points difference.

Knowing that their fate was in their own hands Ionians took to the field with purpose and maintained the pressure throughout.

Yates made a 50-metre break from the off to set up a move which Alfie Celella rounded off with a try in the corner after which Minikin added the first of his points with the conversion.

Minikin got the next two tries and completed his hat-trick with their final one of the half with a try by flanker George Mewburn coming in between.

Rollins and Barnard got Field’s scoring underway, the burly forwards both touching down behind the maul after penalties had pegged the hosts back into their 22. Hawden crashed over by the posts for Field’s third try after the ball was moved in field from a good lineout.

Centre Josh Britton got Ionian’s 7th try just after half time, racing home on an interception before the Minkin/Pocklinton show took the score to the 80 point mark.

Winger Sam Wilson interrupted the Minikin and Pocklinton scoring spree by rounding off a move which started deep inside his own half with another try as the I’s pursued the points chase.

In the final quarter Field managed to slow the scoring down with a spell of good ball retention at the end of which Sanderson secured the bonus try.

Yates’ final try went unconverted but it did create a new highest scoring victory record for his team.

Huddersfield: Workman; Newport; Barber; Hawdon; Stancliffe; Wilson; Walker; Whitfield; Haywood; Rollins; Barnard; Neilly; Davis; Quinn; Pearson. Replacements: Sanderson; Phayer; Copley.