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Norman Angell’s excellent league round-up

Last Saturday our side visited Billingham RUFC hoping to make amends for the 23-17 defeat inflicted upon us on October 21st.
Billingham had only lost at home once and reading their pre-match comments on their website they seemed full of confidence.
However, our boys were equal to the task and posted a very good 19-7 win to remain third in the table.
Tries for Hull came from Callum Lancaster (2), and Steve Johnson, who also landed two conversions. This followed a fine team performance on Billingham’s artificial pitch.
Elsewhere in the division Harrogate had a good 28-10 home win over Kirkby Lonsdale, who could not repeat their exploits of the previous week when they became the first team to beat Preston Grasshoppers by 17-12.
Ilkley and Pocklington provided a closely-contested Yorkshire derby match which the Dalesmen won by 28-22, while in the west side of the country second-placed Lymm had a comfortable 21-7 win over visitors Kendal.
In the bottom of the table clash at Scatcherd Lane a very close game saw Morley post their third win in four games when they beat Birkenhead Park by 11-6.
Unfortunately for them Sandal had a good home win over Wirral by 33-26, after what seems to be the biggest come-back for some time in the division when they trailed Wirral by 26-0 at half-time.
This enabled Sandal to maintain their 13 point lead over the bottom three.
Finally ‘Hoppers got back to their usual form with a 31-14 home win over a Rossendale side containing 7 or 8 former ‘Hoppers players. There must have been some interesting exchanges during that game!!
After the dust had all settled there was no change at the top with ‘Hoppers on 86 points from 19 games, Lymm second with 66 points from 17 games and ourselves on 65 points from 17 games.
Down in the nether regions Morley now have 22 points from 18 games, Birkenhead Park have 18 points from 18 games and Pocklington have just 12 points from 18 games.
This coming Saturday is catch-up weekend with four previously postponed games on the card and could prove to be crucial as four of the top five sides are in action.
Our side make club history when they travel to take on Kirkby Lonsdale, a club we have never played before at any level of rugby.
Despite their great win over ‘Hoppers Kirkby Lonsdale have lost three games at home so far, to Harrogate, Sandal and Rossendale, whilst on the road Hull have only lost once against ‘Hoppers by 24-18.
However, whilst Hull never under-estimate any side, they will be looking for another away win.
Harrogate v Morley is where fourth play 12th and with a resurgent Morley hitting form ‘Gate will have to be on their best form to beat a side which were so unlucky not to take a losing bonus point at Hull, which they would have richly deserved.
Ilkley v Lymm, in a game were ninth meet second, should see an away win on form but the Dalesmen are often capable of springing a surprise and it could be closer than many may think.
Finally, my match of the day is at hilly Rossendale where seventh placed Ross entertain fifth placed Billingham.
Eleven points separate the two clubs but Rossendale have only played 15 games so far and will be looking to make the most of what has been a somewhat disappointing season for them so far.
All in all it promises to be an interesting Saturday, which could even result in further postponements according to present weather forecasts.  Let us hope that all four games go ahead and may the best teams win, they usually do!!

Compiled by Norman Angell.


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