West 37 Huddersfield YMCA 13

By El Pedro - September 3 2016
West 37 Huddersfield YMCA 13 As starts to the season go this was pretty good – maximum points, six tries and a big win over one of the pre-season favourites.

Picking the form sides is always a bit of a lottery at the beginning of a new season but with YM having been narrowly relegated from the National Leagues last time out they seem rightly one of the fancied sides to win promotion. We won’t know the outcome of that for a few months yet but given winning the league usually means only losing two or three games all year, an opening day defeat is certainly a significant blow.

From a West point of view, this was undoubtedly a good way to start the season. We will play better – despite the tries scored it wasn’t an entirely dominant display, even though we never really looking like losing the game.

Whether it was the benefit of a good pre-season or first game nerves from the visitors we started much the sharper of the two teams and were a couple of tries up inside two minutes. First to cross was winger Will Hilditch, on his league debut, taking a nice offload from Zac Southern after a break on the blind side of a scrum in the Huddersfield 22. Southern’s conversion hit the post but he didn’t have to wait long for another opportunity as we were over again 3 minutes later. A wild pass in the YM backline was hacked clear and when the visitors did regather their clearance kick was charged down and the ball rebounded into the in-goal area where Lee Maddison dove in to touch down. Southern made no mistake this time for a 12-0 lead.

From the restart Gavin Stead got the visitors on the board with a penalty for obstruction but Southern cancelled it out on 18 minutes with a penalty of his own after an offside decision.

With half an hour played YM got their first try thanks to right wing Stuart Morton who went in at the corner but the men from West Yorkshire hadn’t settled into the game and were being pressured into mistakes and failing to build sustained possession or territory.

A good kick chase from Eldon Myers forced Huddersfield to concede a lineout in the corner and after a first attempt at a rolling maul was halted illegally, a second effort saw Andrew Rollins burrow his way over behind the rest of his pack. Southern’s conversion was wide leaving the half-time score 20-8.

The first score of the second half was all important and we got it thanks to another league debutant, Lee Maddison. A lengthy period of pressure in the visitor’s 22 told and the former Rovers’ flanker popped up in midfield to finish off a good team try. Southern converted to stretch the lead to 19 points with a little under half an hour to play and a four try bonus point already secured.

Eldon Myers put the game beyond Huddersfield when he crashed over after a scrum was won against the head and then the returning Paul Moss got his name on the scoresheet when he finished off another good move, started by a Myers break and featuring super hands from the excellent Southern.

YM’s scrum half did add a consolation score in the final minute, darting over from the base of a ruck but it couldn’t take the gloss off a fine opening day victory.


West: Mallinson, Hilditch, Checksfield, Youll, E Myers, Southern, R Painter, Coates, Rollins, Blades, Bunter, Corbett, Boatman, Maddison, Miller.
Reps: Wood, Barker, Moss

Tries: Hilditch, Rollins, Maddison (2), Myers, Moss
Cons: Southern 2
Pen: Southern
YC: Barker

Huddersfield YMCA: Ledgard, Tetley, Stead, Boothroyd, Morton, Piper,  Bradley, Slater, Hill, Dyke, Boussaada, Housley, Tindle, Hodge, Lumb.
Reps: Fletcher, Emsley, Watson.

Tries: Morton, Bradley
Con: Stead
Pen: Stead
YC: Housley

Referee: Paul Musgrave [Durham Society]