Words by: Daniel Allerton – Image by: Ray Morris
Huddersfield RUFC came agonisingly close to their second win of the season in their National 2 North game against Lymm at Lockwood Park.
Midway through the second half they had the try-scoring bonus point in the bag and were leading 24-23.
They were pressing hard for a fifth try to secure the spoils when a lapse in attacking concentration gifted Lymm centre Steven Pilkington the opportunity to steal them with a brilliant individual try.
Lymm fly-half Thomas Shard then set the seal on a 33-24 win for the visitors with five more points from his impeccable kicking.
Director of rugby Neil Ryan said: “The performance was OK but we gave away too many penalties that relieved the pressure we were building.
“If our discipline was better we would have won the game. It was pleasing to score four tries. Although the attack isn’t firing like I want it to, four tries is a good effort from the team.”
Lymm flew out of the blocks and opened the scoring in the 3rd minute. Having worked the ball nicely to the corner Field thought they had guided the ball out of play but Nathan Beesley played a lovely reverse pass creating the opportunity for Ben Thompson to run through a gap in the Field defence for an easy touchdown. Fly-half Tom Shard converted to give Lymm a 7-point lead.
After their sleepy start Field rallied and showed spirit. They completely dominated the first scrum and buoyed by the show of strength advanced forward.
From a lineout in a promising position the ball was worked infield to Ed Barber who gave it to fellow centre Lewis Workman. He quickly offloaded to Luke Pearson who was then brought down unfairly.
Workman kicked the penalty for another lineout and in almost repeat fashion the ball went to Barber with fly-half Joe Potter in support who spread it wide to Max Horsfall on the touchline to run through unopposed to score Field’s first try. Ethan Myers missed the conversion from a tight angle.
Field’s lineout success continued and in the 18th minute Myers found himself with the ball after a drive. He played in Billy Hammond who looked like he was going into touch but he spun gracefully, leaving two Lymm defenders in the dust and placed the ball over the try line to give Field the lead. Myers again failed to convert.
Huddersfield’s lead was short lived. After a foul by Pearson which earned him a yellow card Lymm took advantage of the extra man and James Pitcher drove over the line. Shard put Lymm 14-10 up with the conversion.
Lymm increased their lead when Field prop Andy Rollins was penalised, the ever reliable Shard slotting the kick neatly between the posts.
Field wouldn’t lie down and from another lineout Liam Parfitt rose highest, the team drove hard from inside the 5m line and Myers bundled it over the line. A change in kicker for Field resulted in a change of fortune with Simon Wilson converting.
It was all square at the break and while some defensive lapses allowed Lymm to be level pegging Field had looked by far the dominant side.
At the start of the second half Lymm began to control possession and were rewarded when Shard scored a penalty after a high tackle by Lewis Quinn which cost him 10 minutes in the sin bin.
With their second one man advantage Lymm were back in control with their strong running backs creating havoc in the Field defence. Shard scored another penalty on the 55th minute putting Lymm 17-23 up.
Once back to 15 men Field fought back and Quinn made amends for his earlier indiscretion to put his side in front with the bonus point try after a lengthy spell of possession.
Barber played in Hammond who veered through space before offloading to Quinn for the score. Wilson converted superbly from a difficult angle.
With the score now 24-23 to Field the home side continued to press, raising hopes of a second win of the season for the Lockwood Park faithful.
Having worked the ball forward through several phases into the Lymm 22 a promising opportunity seemed to be developing down the right flank.
However, an injudicious pass gifted Lymm possession. Lymm whipped the ball through the hands across the full width of the pitch. It was received by Steven Pilkington deep inside his own half. The strong running centre showed the Field defence a clean pair of heels down the right wing for a superb individual try.
Shard again converted and five minutes later squashed any hope of a comeback with another penalty to end the game 24-33 to Lymm and rob Field of a losing bonus point.
Field can take positives from their attacking performance but they have now lost 10 games in a row. Next up is a re-arranged game against Billingham at Lockwood Park on Saturday January 6 (2.00).
Ryan added: “It is all still to play for and our home game after Christmas is crucial and one we need to target. In every game we must start picking up points, whether that is five, or bonus points.”
Huddersfield; Stewart F; Harrison; Workman; Barber; Horsfall; Potter; Wilson; Thompson; Myers; Whitfield; Pearson; Barnard; Quinn; Parfitt; Hammond. Replacements: Entressengle; Walker; Rollins; Haywood; Moore.