Another away loss brings end to West's miserable season
West's hopes of finishing a desperately disappointing season on a high were dashed as a Huddersfield YMCA side needing points to guarantee their own safety cruised to a 34-17 win.
The visitors did have the consolation of finishing their season with a try in the last seconds.
However, it was scant consolation for the Brinkburn faithful who will see their side in Durham and Northumberland One next season – the lowest position since league rugby began.
Once again West got off to a poor start with lively scrum half Joah Bradley darting through after just two minutes.
The conversion was missed but Bradley continued to threaten and when he was prevented from taking a quick penalty opposite number Matt Siddle was sent to the bin. YMCA promptly increasing their lead with a penalty from Stuart Morton.
The centre then cut through the West midfield to send full back Sam Flecther in under the posts to give his side a 15-0 lead.
Both sides were given a twenty minute breather when the referee went down with a torn calf muscle with Level 7 referee David O’Hare being summoned as replacement.
The break gave West a chance to regroup with Jake Linighan almost getting over from a line-out as the visitors threatened for the first time.
Liam Checksfield just failed to take a sharp pass as West attacked up the wing, but then fell foul of Mr O’Hare who sent him to the sin bin for a deliberate knock on. Huddersfield again takinga dvantage with a push-over try from the penalty.
West did come back with a fine 25-metre break through the centre from Peter Youll, but he paid the price as he was injured in the tackle with Craig Swales coming on to replace him for the rest of the game.
The arrears were reduced when Chris Atkins forced his way over in the corner with Gavin Painter adding a fine conversion.
YMCA’S response was to set up a flowing move which saw Morton evade a last-ditch tackle from full back Will Hilditch to go in under the posts and give his side a 29-7 half time lead.
The lead was increased with a smart finish in the corner from outside centre Tom Bullock.
West continued to battle and got their reward when a smart kick through from Zac Southern was dabbed down by Checksfield.
Then came that late try from Swales after Painter sent Hilditch on a mazy run through the heart of the home defence.
The full back’s lofted pass as he was tackled evaded Checksfield, but the ball bounced kindly for the West replacement with Painter’s missed conversion the last act of a tough season for the Brinkburn side.
Huddersfield YMCA: Sam Fletcher, William Burns-Smith, Tom Bullock, Stuart Morton, Gavin Stead, Jack Legard, Joah Bradley, Sean Barrett, Ben Hill, Stuart Dyke, Ed Black, Jack Housley, James Tindall, Sam Hodge, Josh Lumb.
Replacements: (all used): Harry Garside, Josh Wrafter, Will Perfitt.
Tries: Bradley, Morton, Fletcher, Lumb, Bullock.
Cons: Morton (3)
Pens: Morton (1)
West: Will Hilditch, Liam Checksfield, Peter Youll, Gavin Painter, Adam Peacock, Zac Southern, Matt Siddle, Alex Key, Adam Brown, Andrew Rollins (captain), Jake Linighan, Joe Rafferty, Scott Butcher, Alex Barker, Andrew Turner.
Replacements (all used) Chris Atkins, John Bunter, Craig Swales.
Tries: Atkins, Checksfield, Swales.
Cons: Painter (1)
Yellow: Siddle, Checksfield.
Referee: David O’Hare (Yorkshire)