Titans taught late lesson as Huddersfield press Ionians

Will Bennett of Sheffield Tigers.
Will Bennett of Sheffield Tigers.
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Leading with 10 minutes remaining, Rotherham Titans snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and lost 29-23 to visitors Loughborough Students in National One.

Previously bottom of the table, Loughborough battled well and ran in two late tries in the closing stages to take the win and leave the Yorkshire side with just a losing bonus point for their efforts.

Scrum-half Alex Dolly kicked a penalty after four minutes, and a penalty try was given to the Titans on 17 minutes which put them 10-0 ahead.

Full-back Tim Bitrim raced in on the half-hour and stand-off Charlie Reed converted, but Dolly matched it six minutes later to make it 13-7 approaching half-time.

The visitors took the lead for the first time with Bitrim scoring his second on 41 minutes, Reed converting, although Dolly’s third penalty came three minutes later and put Rotherham back in front.

Reed regained the lead for the students on 52 minutes with a penalty, but Titans centre Harry Dunne crashed over on 57 minutes, Dolly’s conversion putting them 23-17 ahead.

However, Bitrim completed his hat-trick on 69 minutes, Reed converting, and replacement Ben Christie made sure of the win with a try for Loughborough two minutes later.

Huddersfield boosted their promotion hopes with a 33-17 win over Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Tigers in National Two (North).

Tigers took the lead in the fifth minute when prop Will Bennett crashed over. Huddersfield hit back six minutes later when second-row Matthew Dunn scored a try before No 8 Richard Piper scored their second in the 14th.

Huddersfield fly-half Chris Johnson added another try in the 26th minute to leave the score 19-7, but Tigers tried to forge a way back into the game when Tom Taylor-Dawes crashed over in the 31st minute.

Prop Harry Whitfield added another for the home side to leave the score 26-14 going in to the interval.

Lewis Workman then sealed victory for Huddersfield late in the second half when he scored the final try of the game in the 70th minute.

Huddersfield are just four points off leaders Hull Ionians, who saw their lead cut to just two points as they lost out 7-3 at Stourbridge, with centre Lewis Minikin’s penalty being their only score of the match.

Otley performed well at home, winning 48-26 against Macclesfield.

The Yorkshire side raced into the lead when winger Alex Beaumont crashed over in the first minute before second-row Declan Dunn scored a try and fly-half Ben Smith converted.

The ninth minute saw the third try of the game for the home side, this time scored by full-back Ben Magee and was also converted by Smith.

Hooker Joe Graham crashed over in the 23rd minute and Beaumont added his second try shortly after.

In the 32nd minute, Beaumont completed a first-half hat-trick and it was once again converted by Smith to leave the score 36-0 at half-time.

The second half saw Macclesfield fight back, scoring three tries before Magee scored his second in the 60th and Beaumont added his fourth in the 65th to seal the victory.

Wharfedale won 15-14 at Preston Grasshoppers.

The home side took a seventh-minute lead before adding another converted try in the 22nd to make it 14-0.

Wharfedale started their fightback early in the second half when fly-half Jack Blakeney-Edwards scored a penalty.

Scrum-half Sam Gaudie added more hope for the away side when he scored a 59th-minute try to make the score 14-8 going in to the final 20 minutes.

Then, in the 65th minute, full-back Harry Bullough crashed over and the comeback was complete when Blakeney-Edwards successfully kicked the conversion.