Weekend Review – Huddersfield remain in promotion hunt as Hull Ionians strengthen title claims

ON THE MARK: Alex Dolly impressed for Rotherham against Bishops Stortford, kicking five conversions and two penalties. Picture: Tony Johnson.ON THE MARK: Alex Dolly impressed for Rotherham against Bishops Stortford, kicking five conversions and two penalties. Picture: Tony Johnson.
ON THE MARK: Alex Dolly impressed for Rotherham against Bishops Stortford, kicking five conversions and two penalties. Picture: Tony Johnson.
Huddersfield kept their slender promotion hopes alive with a comeback 45-33 victory over Fylde in National Two North.

Now six points behind second-placed Chester who lost at Sedgley Park, Huddersfield could still catch them in the last two games and secure a spot in the promotion play-off.

After Fylde scored two early tries to take a 14-0 lead, Huddersfield opened their account on 18 minutes with hooker Francis Entressengle scoring and stand-off Chris Johnson converting.

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Johnson added a penalty and converted tries by centre Mark Pease, winger Arthur Wilkinson and himself on 38 minutes to help the Yorkshire side lead 31-14 at half-time.

The Lancashire side hit back with two more tries, but Huddersfield were awarded a penalty try on 58 minutes before No 8 Richard Piper’s try was converted by Johnson to put them 45-26 ahead.

Fylde’s late try and conversion was little more than a consolation.

Leaders Hull Ionians took another step towards the title with a 47-26 win at Macclesfield.

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Two tries each from centre James Tincknell and No 8 Mark Wigham helped Ionians to a 33-0 lead at half time, while others came from winger Steve Slingsby with Lewis Minikin kicking four conversions.

After the break, the Cheshire side did get on the scoreboard, but further tries from Slingsby and Minikin ensured the Yorkshire side took maximum points.

Sheffield Tigers notched up a 53-19 victory over relegated Peterborough Lions at Dore Moor.

Four tries from left winger Henri Packard underpinned the victory for Tigers, with Jamie Broadley scoring two and others coming from Chris Pond, Ashley Holland and a penalty try.

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Tigers had extended a 15-0 lead in as many minutes before their rivals put any points on the board.

Having seen the visitors battle back to 20-14 at half time, the Tigers stepped up a gear after the break and scored 33 unanswered points in a magic 20-minute period to seal a thoroughly deserved win.

Otley had to settle for two bonus points after narrowly losing out to visitors South Leicester 41-38.

Trailing 34-19 with around six minutes remaining, the Yorkshire side ran in three late tries to ensure they took a losing bonus point and a four-try bonus point.

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Replacement Joe Gatus scored two of the Otley tries, while others came from full-back Charlie Hudson, winger Josh Hall, hooker Henry Watson and flanker Adam Malthouse.

Wharfedale had to settle for a losing bonus point as they lost 27-21 at Tynedale.

Scrum-half Sam Gaudie scored two first-half tries as the Yorkshire side led narrowly 14-12 at the break.

Hooker Ken Houghton crashed over for a second half try, but Tynedale had extended their lead with two tries to seal the win.

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Rotherham Titans ran in five tries on their way to an entertaining 41-35 National One victory over Bishop’s Stortford at Clifton Lane.

Right-winger Dan Leake, wing forward Zak Poole and hooker Jack Bergmanas scored for the Titans in a close first half.

After the break Leake added his second try, while second row Daniel Preston-Routledge also touched down and Alex Dolly continued a good kicking display which ended with him registering five conversions and two penalties.

Harrogate ran out comfortable 47-27 winners over Yorkshire rivals Ilkley as their hopes of reaching the North Premier league promotion play-offs continued.

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A hat-trick of tries from right winger Andrew Lawson helped Harrogate to victory, with others coming from Harry Barnard, Philip Wickham, Charley Purkiss-McEndoo and Jonny Coser.

That win means that third-placed Harrogate must win their final league match and hope that second-placed Blaydon lose.

Elsewhere, Sandal were narrowly edged out 33-34 at home by Lymm, while champions Hull were deserved 26-7 winners on the road at Billingham.