Preston Grasshoppers 30 Huddersfield 31

Anthony Farran 18.10.2014 Action from Preston Grasshoppers V's Birmingham Solihull in the National Legaue 2 North at Preston Grasshoppers Rugby Football Club, Lightfoot Green Lane, Preston.
Anthony Farran 18.10.2014 Action from Preston Grasshoppers V's Birmingham Solihull in the National Legaue 2 North at Preston Grasshoppers Rugby Football Club, Lightfoot Green Lane, Preston.
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More heartbreak for Preston Grasshoppers as, for the second week running, they collected a four-try bonus point without being able to secure victory.

They also earned a losing bonus point, which at least keeps them 10th in National League Two North.

Head coach Garth Dew said: “That’s the third time we have lost to virtually the last play of the game. The message from this defeat was play in the right areas.

“When we did play in the right areas, we scored some good tries and we have taken a lot of positives out of the second half.”

As seems all too often the case, Hoppers made a poor start, giving away a try after two minutes when a couple of missed tackles as Huddersfield spread the ball wide let centre Ben Mitchell in at the corner for an unconverted score.

With visiting No.8 Nick Sharpe in the sinbin after referee Karl Kirkpatrick awarded Hoppers four penalties in quick succession as they battered away at the line, Chris Taylor and Sam Whyte fed Scott Jordan from a scrum and the winger had plenty of space for a touchdown converted by Lewis Allen.

But lock Austen Thompson crashed over the home line from close range and painstaking kicker Joel Hinchliffe embarked on a decisive run of six successful shots at goal with the conversion.

Allen and Hinchliffe exchanged penalties but Hoppers suffered another killer blow 29 seconds into the second half when fly-half Chris Bell charged down a kick near halfway and regathered for a clear run to the line.

Hinchliffe’s conversion and an easy penalty took his side 25-10 ahead but, with Allen suffering an unhappy afternoon, Hoppers replaced him at fly-half with Billy Woof and brought on Harry Reddick at centre. That changed the shape of the game and great work by full-back Mark Murray put Jordan over for his second try. Sam Russell, taking over the goalkicking, missed the conversion, but soon added the extra points to a try from No 8 Taylor, who capped a fine afternoon by crashing over from close quarters.

Into the final quarter, Russell brought the scores level with an easy penalty, but Hinchliffe, taking an eternity over his kick, replied with his third penalty. Still Hoppers were not beaten and when Murray burst over from a scrum on the 22, they had the bonus point. Russell’s angled conversion could have taken them four points clear, but it missed, and Hoppers failed to close out the game by staying upfield.

Instead, Hinchliffe got yet another chance with a penalty out to the right and, despite trouble with the tee, arrowed it between the posts for a 16-point haul and the clinching score.