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Hull earn bonus point in defeat to leaders

Despite being outplayed at the lineout and struggling for periods at the scrummage Hull came within one last ditch, last minute tackle by Preston of pulling off a memorable victory.
Hull’s defensive effort was massive and whenever they moved the ball the alarm bells were ringing in a very sound but cumbersome Preston defence.
Hull started the game on the back foot when an early kick gifted the opposition a lineout in Hull’s half.
This allowed Preston a seven-minute period to mount wave after wave of attacks.
Hull repelled all of them but when they kicked the ball dead from their own half after 13 minutes Preston turned the screw from the resulting scrum in Hull’s half.
After a series of penalties against Hull, hooker Tom Rice was yellow carded having only played a few minutes as sub for the blood-binned Mike Jobling.
The home side took full advantage of the ensuing penalty and retained possession for phase after phase before their number eight Matt Lampney plunged over for an unconverted try after 18 minutes.
Hull regrouped and despite being a man down forced their way upfield and number eight Joe Stafford picked up the ball at the back of  a ruck 30 yards out and charged through a gap to lay on a try for centre Joey Martin which Steve Johnson converted with ease from in front of the posts after 25 minutes.
Hull consolidated their position with a good penalty goal from Johnson after 39 minutes but just as it seemed they would go in at half-time leading, they conceded possession and Preston were able to send their second rower Chris Roddy in for a try converted by their scrum half Jake Squirrel after 40 minutes to go in at the break leading Hull by 12-10.
The second half saw Hull putting in another sterling defensive display but when the had a turnover go against them after 55 minutes Preston applied pressure on their line and hooker Phil Millea touched down for the home side for a try converted by their scrum half Jake Squirrel after 58 minutes.
Both sides created scoring chances in the next 15 minutes, but a well-struck penalty from Hull’s influential Johnson took Hull within striking distance of their opponents.
Preston’s worked the ball cross field to full-back Scott Jordan who scored an unconverted try after 75 minutes and Hull seemed in an impossible position.
The last five minutes saw Hull’s relentless style take its toll on a fast tiring home side and with all the pack including Rupert Kay, Joe Stafford and Paul Hamber making the hard yards Hull were in the ascendancy.
An unconverted try in the closing stages by full back Lee Birch from a quickly taken tap penalty saw Hull gain a bonus point and with the game deep into injury time and Hull needing a converted try to snatch the points.
Lee birch was set free on the left wing and seemed destined to score but for a great tackle by the home side a couple of yards short of the try line.
Preston had won this close game but Hull’s attention now moves on to try and maintain their position in the league over the next four matches.

Richard Gore

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