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Hull stay in the mix with bonus-point against Ilkley

Hull kept the pressure on the leaders at the top of Northern Premier League with a bonus-point win over Ilkley.
Ilkley took the lead in the 14th minute through fly half Charlie Morgan who found a gap on the left hand side of Hull’s defence for an unconverted try.
Hull trailed for six minutes when full-back Lee Birch scored after joining the attack on the left hand side. Reece Dean missed the conversion to leave the scores tied at 5-5 after 20 minutes.
The visitors regained the lead 11 minutes before the interval when Tom Milner found a way over the line. The conversion attempt was the third in a row that was missed, but Ilkley led 10-5.
Hull’s response was emphatic with 26 unanswered points either side of half time.
Tomasi Tanumi benefitted from Harvey Harding’s quickly taken tap penalty. Dean’s conversion gave Hull a 12-10 advantage.
Hull’s forwards were in total control and accounted for two tries in the final three minutes of an entertaining first half.
Ilkley conceded a penalty try before Joe Stafford claimed a score as Ilkley struggled against Hull’s pack.
Leading 24-10 at the break, Hull came out intent on starting the second half in the same manner they finished the first, on the front foot.
Three minutes after the restart, Stephen Hihetah bagged his 18th try of the season powering his way through the Ilkley defence to score. Dean’s conversion put Hull 31-10 ahead. If Hull thought the game was in the bag, they had another think coming.
Ilkley, who were denied victory against league leaders Preston a week earlier in injury time, never gave up.
A drop goal by Morgan reduced the arrears to 18 points with over half an hour left to play.
Ben Magee’s converted try suddenly had Ilkley believing again and when Luke Freer went over in the 65th minute, Hull were back in a game that should have been over and done with and the final 15 minutes were more uncomfortable than it should have been.
Dean’s missed penalty three minutes from time was the closest either side came to adding to the score as Hull closed the game out for a five-point win.

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