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Second half struggles were Hull’s downfall

Hull’s hopes of a third Yorkshire Cup final in their short 25 year existence went unrealised as they were unable to capitalise on a good first half performance.
Struggling for parity at the set piece they were never able to maintain the continuity of previous weeks and a burst of scoring by their hosts at he start of the second half left Hull with a task that was ultimately beyond them despite a monumental physical effort.
Harrogate started the game well and after just five minutes registered their first score when their off half , Luke Riddall, landed a penalty goal from forty five yards out .Hull responded almost immediately when Harrogate were penalised at the kick off which allowed Hull to set up a line out near the home sides try line.A catch and drive saw captain Tom Price credited with the try to put Hull narrowly ahead after eight minutes. Hull then had the better of exchanges for a period of around ten minutes but were not able to make the most of some good positions either conceding possession or being penalised in the lineout.
After twenty minutes Harrogate scored an extraordinary try when their scrum has half seemed to go to ground in the tackle four times only to bounce up ball in hand to eventually go in under the posts leaving off half Luke Riddall the simplest of conversions to see his side in the lead 10 -5.
Hull were soon back on the attack and yet another good lineout position was lost after twenty four minutes when they were penalised and worse was to follow when after twenty eight minutes their second row forward Lira McDonald Seren was yellow carded.
Hull withstood a few minutes of constant Harrogate pressure with great defensive work and then forced themselves upfield. The resulting lineout saw another copybook catch and drive take them over the Harrogate line for a try after thirty eight minutes which was credited to second row man Lee Brown which saw the scores level at the halftime whistle.
Hull had every right to approach the second period with some confidence but from the kick off the ball was returned to the home side who fielded the return kick and good handling released their winger Jonny Ashman who evaded three tackles on his forty yard run to the try line.
Just four minutes later Harrogate scored again when a midfield move saw a gap appear in the Hull defence and Harrogate’s full back ,Olly Rosillo made no mistake rounding off matters with a try near the posts giving his off half, Luke Riddall the easy task of converting the try to see his side 22-10 in the lead.
With the home side in the ascendancy Hull were further hampered after fifty five minutes when back row man Paul Hamber was yellow carded for a high tackle .Riddall converted the ensuing penalty giving his side a 25-10 advantage and Hull a mountain to climb.
Hull had overturned a larger deficit in the previous round and lacked nothing in effort as the tried to get back on terms. The nearest Hull came to scoring was close to the final whistle when after sustained pressure they seemed to lose possession in the act of scoring.
Ultimately it was Harrogate’s tackling and Hull’s inability to retain the ball for long enough to open up the home sides defense that killed off hopes of another Yorkshire Cup final appearance for Hull.

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