Huddersfield 24-45 Percy Park RFC
On the high Huddersfield moors, Percy Park started this game suffering from a dose of altitude sickness. Josh Hedley was having trouble catching his breath as Huddersfield danced to a 12-0 lead, before a tactical change in the front row brought breathing space and game parity.
Percy Park’s first score came from a good build-up which allowed Ethan Clarke to score out wide. The conversion was difficult and missed.
Michael Grove then went over, this time it was converted, and Percy were back in business at 12-10.
From a scrum, where YMCA were dominant, they went over for a score, the conversion making it 19-10.
Coach Blair then produced what turned out to be) a match winning decision by ‘changing up’ the front row. Michael Birkett came off the bench, returning to his customary position at loose head and his impact was immediate and decisive.
As Park warmed to the task, Wilson sped away and dotted down for a converted try, 19-17.
A quick turn-over at the re-start saw Hedley dance over for a converted score (19-24 at half-time).
Percy Park started the second half with real intent and Ash Smith went over between the posts, converted for 19-31.
A yellow card for Grove gave Huddersfield some impetus and they responded with another score for 24-31.
Huddersfield continued to press, trying to take advantage of numbers, but a dropped ball let Ethan Clarke in and he punished them with a converted score, 24-38.
With numbers restored Percy Park threw the ball around with real pace and intent.
Ash Smith found himself ‘one on one’ with the full back. With his dancing shoes firmly on his feet he went right then cut back left, leaving the full back clutching air as he accelerated past to score under the posts. It was a try that brought a very sporting reaction from the crowd, his conversion making the final score 24-45.