Match Report: HLH vs Dinnington (07.10.2023)

Huddersfield Laund Hill – 51
Dinnington – 19

Laund Hill start their Yorkshire Silver Trophy campaign with a seven-try rout.

 

On the first cup weekend of the season, Huddersfield Laund Hill welcomed Dinnington in a replay of the league fixture from three weeks ago.

That game saw Hill run out close winners following a late-fight back from Dinnington and the coaching team has worked hard since then in trying to get the team to play with intensity for the full 80 minutes.

The first 10 minutes of this game though was a typical cup-tie, with both teams showing early nerves and exchanging too many penalties.  And when Dinnington gave away a penalty for a high-tackle close to their own line, captain Ed Black made the easy decision and elected for a kick at goal which Tom Egan duly slotted over.

From the restart, things got worse for the visitors as Laund Hill prop Sam Burt broke through the initial line of defence and fed hooker Ben Hill who scorched 40 metres down-field.  Despite being tackled, the ball was recycled quickly and shipped to the backs who, with basic quick hands and running at inside shoulders, stood the defence up and found outside centre Egan with the final pass to stroll over for the first try of the day.  Scoring under the posts, he made the conversion easier for himself to add the extras.

Now looking in control of the game, Hill also became dominant in the scrums and earned a free-kick just inside their own half.  The kick was put high and excellently taken by flanker Kean Hiscock.  The forwards were there to secure the ball and fly-half Alex Bull placed a grubber kick through the advancing defence.  Winger Will Burns-Smith collected the kick and raced away into the corner but was held up by Dinnington full-back Conner Pilkington who sustained what looked like a serious injury and had to be stretchered from the field.  Thankfully news from the Dinnington camp indicates that there are no broken bones and the club wishes Conner well in his recovery.

However, before the stoppage, Dinnington were adjudged to have strayed offside and play was brought back.  Once again in kickable range, Egan extended the score to 13-0.

Despite having the upper-hand over their opponents, Laund Hill conceded two quick high-tackle penalties, putting themselves under pressure on their own line.  Dinnington used a well-worked pick and go and their forwards crashed over near the posts for a converted try.

Things went from bad to worse for the home team as yet more penalties were conceded, resulting in a final warning from the referee.  Knowing that any further infringement would result in a yellow card, the defence retreated and Dinnington were able to get close to the Laund Hill line.  As Dinnington worked the ball across the field, the Laund Hill defence shot out, but left a gap big enough to be exploited and the visitors ran in for their second converted try to take the lead 13-14.

As the half drew to a close, it looked like the home team would be going in to the half-time chat one point behind.  However, with time for one final attack, Dinnington this time were guilty of conceding a cheap penalty and the ball was put into the corner for a line-out.  Winning the ball close to the line, the Laund Hill forwards took control and fought for every inch of territory,  Yet again, Dinnington had to give away a penalty, this time forcing the referee to reach into his pocket for a yellow card.  And straight away, Egan used the extra man advantage to spot a gap to score his second try of the day.  Adding the conversion, he took the half-time score to 20-14.

With the coaches’ words of wisdom ringing in their ears, Laund HIll started the second half with the knowledge that a good performance was needed for the full 40 minutes to prevent a repeat of the recent league game where Dinnington almost snatched it at the death.

And with just two minutes on the clock, a clever box-kick from scrum-half Lewis Vernon put the visitors under pressure.  Trying to run the ball out from their own half, they pushed a pass forward, gifting possession back to Hill.

The scrum did its work and the ball was cleanly won yet again and play moved deeper into Dinnington territory.  With the defence scrambling, hooker Hill found yet another gap and sprinted over for a fine, converted try.

Sensing the game was there to be taken, Laund Hill utilised the same play straight from the kick-off with another towering box kick.  Under enormous pressure, Dinnington conceded a penalty and a shot at goal was elected for, to keep the scoreboard ticking over.  Unfortunately, this time the kick was missed, but just two minutes later another box kick had the defence in all kinds of trouble as winger Archie Roberts collected the dropped ball to score a try in the corner.  Unfortunately, the try was not converted on this occasion.

Taking a 32-14 lead into the final 25 minutes, the game should have been put beyond Dinnington, but yet again, bad habits started to creep in to the home team’s game and ill-discipline handed possession back to their opponents on a number of occasions.  Once again on a final warning from the referee, Laund Hill’s defence seemed to struggle and was forced to concede a goal-line drop-out.

Dinnington were now looking the sharper of the two teams on the ball and once they received the possession back, they cut through the Laund Hill line, scoring out wide to give themselves a glimmer of hope.

From the restart, Dinnington looked to get themselves further back into the game as they made a number of breaks through the normally solid Laund Hill defence.  However, a last ditch tackle from full-back Luke Earnshaw prevented another try and an excellent clearing kick from Vernon took the play back into the Dinnington half.

This seemed to knock the stuffing out of the visitors and when Laund Hill had managed to settle themselves down, they once again took command of the game.

With a line-out deep in Dinnington territory won by the home team, the ball was worked to Corby Nasaqa who powerfully broke through the defensive line.  The ball was kicked on and Egan once again found himself on the end of it to claim his hat-trick.

And just a couple of moments later, Nasaqa was involved again as the Laund Hill scrum earned yet another penalty.  Taking a quick tap, he dived over for a score which Egan converted.

With the clock running down, and with Laund Hill now certain of the victory, the ball was spun down the back-line in the final attack.  As Kyle Sharp looked certain to score, he selflessly fed the ball to twin brother Jack to score out wide.  Egan added the extras to take the score to 51-19 – the first time that Laund Hill have hit the half-century this season.

Moving into the quarter finals, Laund Hill have another home tie against North Ribblesdale on 25th November.

However, focus will now turn to next Saturday’s league game against the same opposition where both teams will get a good look at each other before the cup-tie.

Head coach James Tindall said “Training over the past month has been immense and people are really putting the effort in.  It was really good to be able to reward Jack and Kyle Sharp with their places in the squad today and the competition for places is a really healthy place to be in.  We’ll look for more of the same this next week to repeat the performance against North Ribb”.

Match-day Squad:

Earnshaw, Roberts, Egan, Crotty, Burns-Smith, Bull, Vernon; Burt, Hill, Barrett, Dalton, Black (c), Perfitt, Hiscock, Bender.

Replacements:  Morris, Nasaqa, J Sharp, K Sharp

Man of the Match: Tom Egan

 

Match Report by Dale Earnshaw

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