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Hull stay top with eighth straight win

Hull survived two second half yellow cards to record another victory against a determined Ilkley side.
Stephen Hihetah’s three tries was the vital ingredient in this win keeping Hull at the top of the league.
Hull started well despite facing a strong wind and kept possession from the kick-off for seven minutes. Their forwards were in the ascendancy with Cameron Curry, Joe Stafford and Thomas O’Donnell prominent in making the hard yards.
However, this dominant spell did not bring any reward and Ilkley started to use the elements to their advantage and they opened the scoring with a penalty from their off-half Chuck Ramsey after 14 minutes.
Hull responded with a series of attacks culminating in a try when a loose pass presented Stephen Hihetah with a chance to collect and race in from 25 yards out for Hull’s first try after 23 minutes.
Although this was unconverted Hull had a golden chance after 33 minutes but a searing break by Ali Heard came to nothing as a pass went to ground which meant Hull went in at the break with a slender two-point lead.
The second half started badly for Hull when Tom O’Donnell was yellow carded after 30 seconds. Hull seemed stunned by the decision and Ilkley, sensing an opportunity took a quick tap penalty and raced 80 yards with their flanker Joe Lowes touching down in the left hand corner.
Hull made light of being a man short thereafter and a Simon Humberston penalty after 45 minutes brought the scores level.
Hull were now having the better of the exchanges and after 55 minutes a period of ball retention and good handling produced another chance for winger Hihetah who made no mistake brushing off two defenders on his way to a try in the left hand corner.
Simon Humberston was unable to convert but five minutes later made no mistake with a penalty from 38 yards out.
Hull’s second yellow card to second row man Liam Regardsoe for a high tackle gave Ilkley some hope but they were unable to break down a well organised Hull defence.
After 76 minutes, with Hull once again back to full strength, Ilkley’s defenses were unable to stop Hihetah taking a pass five yards out, after a scrum and blast his way over for his third try and see Hull home and dry by 23-8.

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