Last Saturday our side made the long trip into deepest Cheshire to take on newly-promoted Wilmslow who have not been able to adjust to the higher level of rugby and are presently rooted at the bottom of the table, having won only one game and drawn one. Despite this, they never gave up the battle against our side who won the game by 50-0, scoring eight tries in the process. Mike Adlard led the way with a hat-trick and skipper Tom Rice scored two with Mike Dias and Joe Stafford also scoring. Steve Johnson landed four conversions and we were also awarded a penalty try.
Elsewhere in the division Blaydon bounced back from their narrow defeat at the Ferens Ground the previous week to post a comfortable 33-18 home win over Lymm; Ilkley provided the shock of the day when they scored five tries at Stacks Field to send second-placed Billingham home pointless and today’s visitors lost 19-10 at home to Alnwick. In the basement battle Kirkby Lonsdale triumphed by 17-5 over visitors Vale of Lune; another shock result saw Sandal travel to Rossendale to beat the home side by 27-10 and Harrogate fell further behind in the promotion race when they lost 3-0 at Wirral.
All of this means that Hull now have a thirteen point lead over Blaydon who are now in second spot with 60 points while Billingham drop to third and are on 59 points. Harrogate are still in fourth place on 50 points. In the nether regions all the bottom four were beaten so there is no change with Wilmslow on 10 points behind Vale of Lune with 20, Kendal on 22 and Lymm on 25 points.
This week’s fixtures throws up some interesting clashes with my top three for the day being Billingham v Rossendale where third take on sixth; Harrogate v Blaydon where fourth entertain second and Sandal v Wirral where ninth play seventh. In my humble opinion it will end in home, away and home wins in that order. The other fixtures sees Alnwick at home to Kirkby Lonsdale, Lymm at home to Wilmslow and Vale of Lune at home to Ilkley.
Hull posted their third double of the season with a good 50-0 win at Wilmslow to record their fifteenth consecutive victory but it is the three previous home wins that have given the side a firm grip at the top of the table. The win against fourth-placed Harrogate by 20-14 followed by the hammering of second-placed Billingham by 49-7 and finally by the narrow 16-14 win over Blaydon can truly be described as season-defining victories. The team deserve our congratulations on three very good displays against their nearest rivals in the division.
Next Saturday we are on the road again (as Willie Nelson would say!!) when we make another long trip to Kirkby Lonsdale, where we won 42-12 last season. February 2nd is a blank date in the division and then on the following week we will see Vale of Lune making their first ever visit to the Ferens Ground and hopefully have one of our old favourites Ben Dorrington in their side.