Bees 29-36 Hudds YMCA
By Benji Pickin
Ill discipline again proves costly for the Bees
Although the two bonus points the home side earned from this North One East derby lifted Bradford and Bingley off the bottom of the division, it was another game where the Bees were again at fault for getting off to a slow start and gifting their opponents a two try lead in the first ten minutes. The Bees continued with their helter skelter approach to the game, where the first thought is always to try and out pace their opposition. Keeping the accelerator pressed firmly to the floor from all areas of the field makes for an entertaining eighty minutes every week, but at the moment it is not winning any games for Anthony Posa’s side.
No doubt this approach will eventually reap rewards because when everything falls into place the Bees will surely be able to hand out a drubbing to someone, but for the moment, as the errors persist and the defence is sometimes particularly flimsy, the Wagon Lane side are making it far too easy for their opponents to pinch points, particularly in the opening exchanges. Throughout the game the Bees seemed unable or unwilling to stop the visiting centres, Gavin Stead and Tom Clough, who both made significant dents into the Bees midfield with every carry.
The game also featured six yellow cards, three for each side, but the double sin binning of Tom Cummins then Andy Smith ten minutes into the second half was a key turning point in the game.
The Bees had hauled themselves back from that early two try disadvantage to lead 29-17 with half an hour to play. The referee then reached for his pocket in two consecutive passages of play as Cummins and then Smith were penalised and then sent to the cooler for offences at the breakdown. With those two in the sin bin, Huddersfield were able to haul back the Bees as former Bradford and Bingley player, Stead, collected two tries in the 55th and 60th minutes. Stead also landed a conversion to collect 12 points in five points and bring his side level.
A yellow card had also been the first notable action of the game as Michael Crotch earned the wrath of the official in the fourth minute and was sent to the bin before a significant attacking play had been engineered by either side. Crotch had barely taken his seat on the naughty step when YMCA flanker Sam Hodge was over the whitewash out wide on the left. A trademark booming conversion from Stead meant it was 7 nil to the visitors with six minutes played. With their next possession the Bees were looking to attack from deep and as both backlines spread out to the right of a maul, full back Lance Taylor came into the line and flung out a long pass to his right. The pass was eagerly hauled in by the visitor’s scrum half Joah Bradley, so it was 14 nil with ten minutes played.
The Bees did at least begin to steady the ship and with the quarter hour mark coming up, Tom Cummins ploughed over from short range. Taylor tacked on a penalty five minutes later to pull the home side within 6 points. Stead eased his side further in front with a penalty on the half hour, but sustained Bees pressure was rewarded with three minutes to play in the half as skipper Tom Booth powered over and with Taylor tacking on the extras, the sides turned round at 17 points to 15 in favour of the visitors.
The home side wasted little time in taking control of the game as the second half got under way. The Bees disrupted an attack in the middle of the field and the ball was hacked clear of the maul by Henry Reed-Purvis. The loose ball was gathered by a Bees hand and shipped to the left where James Morton was able to run the ball back for the five pointer. Reed-Purvis then joined his centre partner on the score sheet in the 48th minute, crossing under the posts to give Taylor an easy conversion. Turning an initial 14 point deficit into a 12 point lead was an excellent come back from the home side but unfortunately the game was about to flip towards the visitors as Cummins and then Smith received their yellow cards. With Stead’s five minutes of glory, the visitors were able to level the score and were looking the better side as the game entered the final twenty minutes.
However, it looked like the Bees might hold on for the draw as time ticked on and eighty minutes was up, but what looked like a speculative kick up the right touchline turned into gold for the visitors as the ball sat up nicely to be gathered by Sam Fletcher in the corner in front of the clubhouse. Stead then compounded the Bees misery with a superb conversion from wide on the right to restore a seven point advantage.