Huddersfield 12, Bromsgrove 14

BATTLING Bromsgrove held firm to record a hard fought victory over the National North Two’s basement boys on Saturday.

The Boars bagged an all-important win, their third in four games, in order to strengthen their position and widen the gap over the teams below them at the bottom of the table.

But it needed a dogged display late on as Huddersfield pushed for a late score, after replacement Steve Blackburn was yellow carded for an offence at a ruck.

It was not a pretty game between two teams struggling to find the form and assertiveness of last season and it came down to heart and desire rather than skillset on the day.

Fortunately Town showed plenty of this and competed positively in all phases despite being on the wrong end of a few strange refereeing decisions.

The first two of these came early on when, despite appearing to have the upper hand in the scrums, the away side were penalised twice in the first eight minutes. Both times Huddersfield were offered kickable penalties which were converted by Luke Booth.

In between Bromsgrove got one back through Bar Bartlett.

The bulk of the first half was fairly uninspiring with Town having the upper hand largely through the driving of the forwards with Dave Hughes, Wayne Cooper and Paul Norris prominent.

This slight edge earned them two more kickable penalties which Bartlett converted, despite having taken several knocks during the half, to hand the Boars a slender 9-6 advantage.

Bromsgrove started the half the stronger and were piling the pressure on the home line for long periods.

They eventually got the deserved score when captain John Critchlow picked a good line and blasted through the opposition to score.

It appeared to be the time for the visitors to take the game by the scruff of the neck but to Huddersfield’s credit they came back strongly and gave as good as they got, earning penalties on 60 and 70 minutes to come back within two points.

Bromsgrove’s cause was not helped when they were reduced to 14 men but they held on resolutely to secure the win.

On Saturday, Bromsgrove have another important game against another struggling team when they entertain Stockport (2.15pm ko).