HUDDERSFIELD YMCA 36 - 27 SKIPTON
BY WARREN BURNETT
This was the game Skipton had been looking forward to, their trip into West Yorkshire to face a Huddersfield side sitting second in the league but whom they had beaten in February. Once again injury hit Skipton had to call on the younger members of the squad to help them out.
On the pitch it was Huddersfield who started the livelier, scoring two converted tries within the first ten minutes to fly into a 14 point lead. Gradually the Skipton pack and backs started to work well together, a neat passing interchange, Matthew Boatwright to Jonathan Richards sent Alex Naylor in for a try under the posts, Howson converted to make it 7-14. YMCA added an unconverted try on the stroke of half time to make it 7-19 at the break.
A change at half time saw young Chris Lambert take over propping duties from Chris Sheehan and this seemed to give new life to the Skipton pack and within 5 minutes of the re-start from a scrum the backs shipped the ball out to winger James Bagnall to score out wide, 12-19.
This was a hard fought game with injuries occuring frequently. From another Skipton attack, with the travelling supporters shouting for the ball to be passed out wide, Alex Naylor took the opportunity to kick a drop goal from 30 metres out, 15-19.
Huddersfield are second in the league for a reason, they are a very good side and following another couple of enforced changes for Skipton, Ben Hall replacing Matty Wilson at No.7 and Shaun Barraclough taking over from Howson at centre, YMCA struck with another two converted tries in quick succession, 15-33.
Again, it was pleasing to see the young players of Skipton not giving in and they found a secret weapon in the form of Lucas Wootton who had been starved of the ball all day. On this occasion however he received the ball in his own half danced around the YMCA defense to score under the posts, Naylor converting, 22-33.
With the points difference back to only 11 Huddersfield were looking a little concerned as Skipton did not look finished and the Red backs got the ball moving again from Connor Hinchcliffe, Lucas Wootton to Andrew Nicholson to see Nicholson score Skipton's 501st point of the season, the conversion failed, 27-33. Skipton were now in the ascendency and looking to finish the game off, another fine passing move saw Bagnall with a clear run through to the line but the referee saw a forward pass and brought play back, Naylor disputed the decision which then saw a penalty awarded to YMCA which was kicked to make the final score 27-36.
A great performance by Skipton with special mention to Ben Hall, Connor Hinchcliffe, Chris Lambert and Matthew Boatwright who had continued with a rib injury.
Next week home to Hullensians.