Huddersfield edge past Loughborough to move out of bottom three
Huddersfield battled to a hard-fought victory over Loughborough Students to lift themselves out of the relegation places in National Two North. Photo Credit: (Chris Farrow)
Gareth Lewis’ side had slipped into the drop zone last weekend, but a win in Round 14 means Field are now two points clear of the trapdoor heading into the penultimate fixtures of 2019.
Luctonians now occupy a spot in the bottom three after losing at Wharfedale whilst Preston Grasshoppers’ woes continued against Hull at Lightfoot Green.
At the top, Caldy stretched their remarkable winning run to 13 matches as they breezed past Tynedale and second-placed Fylde are now eight points clear of Sedgley Park (3rd) after beating their rivals at Woodlands.
Elsewhere, Chester came away from Stourbridge with a victory following a pulsating contest whilst Hinckley dazzled against Sheffield Tigers and Otley hammered Scunthorpe.
Tynedale 14-47 Caldy
Caldy flanker Adam Aigbokhae scored a brace as National Two North’s league leaders produced a stunning display to extend their winning run to 13 matches.
Aigbokhae opened the scoring for Gareth Davies’ side and Caldy found themselves 14-0 to the good at the break thanks to JJ Dickinson’s effort.
Nick Royle, Aigbokhae, Ben Jones, Tom Sanders and Rhys Hayes completed the seven-try romp for Caldy, who are now four points clear at the summit.
Jonathan Cousin and Guy Pike scored Tynedale’s tries, but the North-East club had no answer to the impeccable table toppers.
Fylde 17-10 Sedgley Park
Fylde have created some breathing space in the race of a top two spot after defeating rivals Sedgley Park at Woodlands.
Tries from Scott Rawlings and Tom Carleton, plus a penalty from Greg Smith, put the hosts 17-0 up early in the second half.
#Fylde maintain 2nd place in #N2N with a 17-10 victory v @SedgleyTigers. @spraggio said of last 10 mins: "To hold them out showed real strength of character & a huge effort, denying them a score – those boys will be unbelievably tired now!"
Match report: https://t.co/9ZfB0it9CT pic.twitter.com/SMYxaY2xxX
— Fylde Rugby (@fylderugby) December 8, 2019
James Harper crossed to get Sedge on the board and three points from the boot of Steve Collins put the visitors right back into this contest with 25 minutes remaining.
Fylde’s Jacob Connor was also sin-binned, but despite immense pressure from Sedge, Fylde held out superbly to secure what could be a crucial win come the end of the season.
Huddersfield 25-19 Loughborough Students
Huddersfield defeated Loughborough Students at Lockwood Park to move out of the relegation places in National Two North.
The win took Field two points clear of the drop zone and also halted a three-game losing streak for Gareth Lewis’ men.
The home side led 17-5 at half-time, with Tom Hodson and Lewis Workman going over, only after Worcester Warriors’ Lewis Holsey had opened the scoring for the Students.
Richard Piper crossed for Field to stretch their lead, but a penalty try just after the hour kept Loughborough in contention.
However, Huddersfield found themselves on the right end of another close encounter as Will Milner slotted a late penalty.
Hinckley 53-23 Sheffield Tigers
Mitch Lamb scored a hat-trick as Hinckley beat Sheffield Tigers to maintain their excellent recent form.
Tries from the impressive Joe Wilson, Callum Dacey and Lamb put the Hornets 21-17 up at the break, with a brace from Sheffield Tigers’ Pete Swatkins keeping the visitors in touch.
However, Lamb went over on two more occasions as Hinckley recorded a fourth consecutive home win whilst Dacey and Alex Salt also crossed in the second period.
Full-back Wilson finished with 18 points to his name, whilst Mark Ireland kicked two penalties after the interval for the Tigers.
Stourbridge 27-33 Chester
Chester are up to sixth in National Two North as they extended their unbeaten run to five matches following a pulsating victory against Stourbridge.
A breathless opening half an hour saw Chester race into a 33-0 lead with Will Du Randt, George Baxter (2), Harrison Vare and Shay Owen all crossing,
However, Stour were able to begin a fightback before the break as George Morgan, Jack Samuel and Nick Murphy all went over to conclude a remarkable first period of rugby.
Stour then chipped away at Chester’s lead and Dan Rundle’s try narrowed the gap further. Chris Scott pinged over a late penalty to set up a tense finish, but the visitors were able to see the game out in the Midlands.
Scunthorpe 24-62 Otley
Otley ran in 10 tries to inflict a heavy defeat on bottom of the table Scunthorpe at Heslam Park.
The visitors, who had lost three straight matches heading into this fixture, returned to winning ways in some style whilst Scunthorpe’s search for a first victory of the campaign continues.
Otley were 26-17 up at half-time and they ran riot in the second-half as they took the game away from the hosts.
Max Johnson, Alex Beaumont and Paul Petchey all starred for the Yorkshire outfit as they grabbed two tries apiece, whilst Joe Graham, Henry Roberts, Ben Steele and Elliot Morgan also crossed for Otley.
The Greens had been firmly in this contest at the break after scores via James Dyson, Will Scammell and Grant Elliot, but Dyson’s second was all Scunthorpe could muster up after the interval.
Preston Grasshoppers 13-18 Hull
Preston Grasshoppers’ tough run of form continued as they suffered another defeat against Hull at Lightfoot Green.
Paul Arnold’s side are currently eight points from safety in National Two North after slipping to their sixth straight loss.
✅ Fylde (a)
✅ Scunthorpe (h)
✅ Preston Grasshoppers (a)
How we made it 3️⃣ wins from 3️⃣ @RugbyHoppers – https://t.co/6gbIiacCs7#HullRUFC #HullRugbyUnion #Nat2N @BealHomes
— Hull RUFC (@hullrugbyunion) December 7, 2019
For Hull, this was their third successive victory and Gary Pearce’s men are now six points clear of danger, but they had to come from behind in Lancashire.
A converted try and two penalties from Preston’s Nick Gregson gave the Hoppers a 13-3 lead shortly after half-time, but scores from Stephen Johnson and Tom O’Donnell, plus a second penalty from Simon Humberstone, saw Hull battle back to secure the victory.
Wharfedale 25-5 Luctonians
Wharfedale picked up a welcome victory as they comfortably beat Luctonians at the Avenue.
Jack Blakeney-Edwards slotted over two penalties in the first-half as Dale opened up a 6-5 lead at the interval, after Aiden Cheshire had gone over for Luctonians on 24 minutes.
Fly-half Blakeney-Edwards then added a converted try to his tally in the second period before the hosts capitalised on yellow cards shown to Lucs’ Owien Harriott-Davis and Callum Young.
Both Oli Cicognini and Oscar Canny dotted down as Wharfedale ended a three-game winless run and the victory also moved the Yorkshire club five points clear of the relegation places.