Last Saturday our side took on Billingham RUFC in a top of the table, first v second game at the Ferens Ground in what was widely expected to be a hard fought and very close game between two very well matched sides. The game turned out to be a rout and in a result that no one in attendance could have anticipated, Hull scored seven converted tries to win the game by 49-7. Try-scorers for Hull were Steve Hihetah (2), Tom O’Donnell (2), Mike Adlard, Harvey Harding and Ben Boothman. Simon Humberstone landed six conversions and Steve Johnson one. It was just a magnificent display that left Billingham reeling.
Elsewhere in the division, Rossendale posted a hard-fought 15-7 at Alnwick; Ilkley went down at home to Harrogate by 24-17 after a very even and close game and in a bottom of the table clash Kendal beat visitors Wilmslow by 25-15. Kirkby Lonsdale were well beaten at home to third placed Blaydon to the tune of 38-0; in a dour game at Lymm the home side beat Sandal by just 7-6 and in another very tight game Vale of Lune lost 13-12 to visitors Wirral.
These results made very little difference in the league positions but Hull are now nine points clear with 59 points with Billingham second on 50 points and Blaydon still third on 49 points. Rossendale crept into the top four and are on 44 points. Down in the nether regions Wilmslow are bottom on just 8 points, Vale of Lune are on 13 but Kendal’s total has risen to 18 points but they are still just 5 points behind Lymm after Lymm’s win over Sandal.
This week-ends fixtures, which mark the second half of the season, throw up some interesting clashes and two or three County derby games. Billingham will be smarting for a victory after last week’s result when the entertain fifth-placed Harrogate and ‘Gate will do well to get anything out of this fixture, but having seen them at the Ferens a couple of weeks ago they will be sure to give a good account of themselves. A Northumberland derby sees Alnwick travel to Blaydon where the home side will be a tough proposition for the newly-promoted side. A Yorkshire derby between Ilkley and Sandal is hard to judge but home advantage will probably prove the difference, although when Sandal get their act together they are a tough side to beat. Rossendale v Lymm looks like a shoe-in for the home side who can be fearsome on their own ground while the Wilmslow v Vale of Lune throws together 14th and 13th in the table, so anything could happen there. Finally, league leaders Hull will go to Wirral full of confidence after last week’s great win, but they must remember that Wirral have won all of their six home games and only won their first away win at Vale of Lune last week. Hull will not be complacent and they will recall that they only beat Wirral by 13-3 at the Ferens on September 8th.