By Richard Sykes
For the second week running, Huddersfield went toe-to-toe for long spells with a higher ranked team in their National 2 North game. However, as last week at Fylde, they failed to take their chances and accorded their opponents a strong finish. Hull Ionians ran out deserved and comfortable winners of the Lockwood Park derby, 33-3.
Two minutes into the game Huddersfield took a three point lead courtesy of a long range Will Milner penalty, a lead they held onto for most of the first half.
Huddersfield pressured their visitors and created chances to increase their lead in the first quarter. The first came 15 minutes into the game. From a lineout, they set up a solid maul. With the ball secured at the back, the drive crabbed in field towards the posts. When almost over the line they chose to release and pass the ball, losing ground and possession in the process.
Shortly afterwards Huddersfield launched a break away from inside their own half. Neat passing exchanges took play into the Ionians 22 and set up a two on one overlap. With the white wash beckoning the final pass from flanker Liam Parfitt, to Sam Nunns on the right wing, went to ground and the chance went begging.
The lead finally changed hands five minutes from half time. Following a series of scrummages on the Huddersfield line, Ionians full back, Jack Townend, rounded the defence for an unconverted try. They extended their lead with a second try just after the interval. Winger Cameron Burnhill, ending a move with the touch down on the overlap, which was converted by centre Lewis Minikin.
Moments later another long range penalty attempt by Will Milner bounced back into play from the upright. Ionians ran the ball back, but when they attempted a chip kick over Huddersfield’s Cameron Catleugh, the rangy wing man leapt and blocked and looked set to run in a try unopposed. However the ball slipped from his grasp when he attempted to gather.
Midway through the second half Huddersfield were confined to defensive duties. Although they held out with determination and counter attacked when the opportunity arose, Lewis Bradley and Ross Thornton combining well to make good ground in the best of them, they were eventually undone.
With eight minutes remaining Ionians worked the ball wide from a lineout and Minikin cruised in for try number three, which he then converted.
The score seemed to take the wind out of the home side’s sails. When Huddersfield were found wanting at a scrummage on their line a penalty try was awarded and Parfitt was shown the yellow card because of an altercation during the incident.
The match ended with a fifth try for the visitors. James McDaniel set it up with a superb solo run, with scrum half Will Metcalf dotting down from a ricochet, after McDaniel grubbed the ball forward. Minikin once again converted.
After the game Huddersfield head coach, Gaz Lewis, expressed his frustration and said: “The first half was very encouraging and we could have been in front if we had taken our chances.
“The forwards really fronted up against a very experienced and physical pack. However we just didn’t get going after half-time and to concede 28 unanswered points is bitterly disappointing.”
Huddersfield: Hodson; Catleugh; Workman; Milner; Nunns; Brook A; Mason; Rollins; Thornton; Thompson C; Pearson; Sharpe; Parfitt; Bradley; Brown. Replacements: Davis; Stapley; Potter; Law; Smith.