Kirmond's final touch foils Tigers

Huddersfield 16 Castleford14

Dave Hadfield
Wednesday 22 January 2014 03:53

A try four minutes from time by Danny Kirmond yesterday put Huddersfield into the semi-finals of the Carnegie Challenge Cup, despite the earlier chances they had squandered.

Kirmond, an unknown, lower division winger little more than a year ago converted into a second-row by the Giants, gave his more experienced colleagues a late lesson in finishing when he took Kevin Brown's pass to go over.

In the absence of their injured play-maker Brent Sherwin, Cas badly needed somebody else to step into that role. The early signs were that Ryan McGoldrick could be that man, as he had already been probing dangerously before he put up the high kick that led to the game's first points. Michael Shenton leapt high to claim it and managed to twist in the tackle and force the ball down for the try.

Huddersfield struck back midway through the half, Brown taking Scott Moore's pass and writhing out of a series of tackles for a try which was converted by Brett Hodgson.

That should have been the start of the home side taking control, but they then wasted three gilt-edged chances.

Eorl Crabtree announced his arrival in the game with an offload that should have brought a try, but David Hodgson unaccountably decided to pass with the line open and Luke Robinson was so surprised that he knocked on.

Stephen Wild then narrowly failed to reach a grubber kick before the dead-ball line and also supplied the pass that Martin Aspinwall fumbled with the try there for the taking.

Instead of being well ahead at the break, the Giants found themselves level when Kirk Dixon landed a goal after Andy Raleigh was penalised for a grapple tackle on Ryan Clayton.

Huddersfield were still in the same mode after the break, Paul Whatuira's pass going forward to deny David Hodgson. Almost immediately, Cas showed how to convert a chance, McGoldrick and Chris Feather getting away flat passes to release Brett Ferres. Both balls were sufficiently marginal to give the Giants a sense of grievance.

They could only blame themselves for the next two points they conceded, Brett Hodgson putting his kick-off dead and his namesake, David, holding down James Evans. Huddersfield would have been dead and buried if Kirk Netherton's effort had not been ruled out for Rangi Chase's pass off the ground.

Instead, it was Wild who turned the match around; first breaking up a Tigers attack and then getting on the end of Robinson's short ball for the try that brought the Giants within range.

Huddersfield play St Helens in the semi-finals, with Wigan and Warrington meeting in the other match.

Huddersfield: B Hodgson; Aspinwall, Lolesi, Whatuira, D Hodgson; Brown, Robinson; Mason, Moore, Jackson, Kirmond, Wild, Finnigan. Substitutes used: Faiumu, Crabtree, Griffin, Raleigh.

Castleford: Owen; Wainwright, Shenton, Evans, Dixon; McGoldrick, Chase; Sargent, Netherton, Higgins, Ferres, Jones, Westerman. Substitutes used: Huby, Clayton, Feather, Faumuina.

Referee: R Silverwood (Mirfield).

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