Last Saturday our team were at home to struggling Kendal who were third from bottom in the table having only won five of their 17 league games. They were no match for our boys who achieved the bonus point in 27 minutes, led 49-0 at the break and finally won the game by 89-0. Tries were scored by Keane Naylor (7), Rupert Kay (2), Steve Johnson, Steve Hihetah, Mike Jobling and Joe Stafford. Simon Humberstone converted 12 of the 13 tries and it was a concerted team performance team performance against a side with very little to offer except a never-say-die attitude and to their great credit a very sporting manner with neither side being penalised for foul play.
Elsewhere in the division Alnwick had a good 21-3 home win over Kirkby Lonsdale; Billingham proved too strong for visitors Rossendale winning very comfortable by 37-16 and Harrogate did themselves, and ourselves, a big favour with a 24-13 home win over second-placed Blaydon. In a bottom of the table clash Lymm won a tight game against visitors Wilmslow by 20-12; Sandal failed to capitalise on their fine 27- 10 win at Rossendale the previous week when the lost a high-scoring game at home to Wirral by 31-28 and Vale of Lune shocked visitors Ilkley with a 24-17 win after a thrilling game.
As a result of all these fixtures Hull remain at the top with 78 points having posted their sixteenth consecutive victory, followed by Billingham who are on 64 points and Blaydon, who have dropped back to third, on 60 points. Harrogate’s fine win keeps them on 55 points in fourth position.
At the southern end of the table Wilmslow remain bottom on 10 points with Kendal dropping one place on 22 points and Vale of Lune moving up one place onto 24 points, still 5 behind Lymm who are on 28 points.
This week’s fixtures bring up some interesting games beginning with Hull travelling to take on Kirkby Lonsdale who will not relish their chances against a side which have scored 155 points whilst conceding only 16 in their three games since the Christmas break. Third-placed Blaydon entertain Sandal who are ninth and the Geordies will be eager to get back to winning ways after losing at Harrogate; in an important basement battle for both sides Kendal at home to Lymm is a ‘must win ’game for the hosts whilst Vale of Lune will do their cause some good if they can beat visitors Alnwick. Wilmslow at home to Harrogate should be a ‘shoe-in’ for ‘Gate and finally despite their fifth place in the table Wirral should pose no threat to second in the table Billingham. My games of the day are Ilkley v Rossendale, Kendal v Lymm and Wirral v Billingham. I only got one of my three predictions correct last week so I think it prudent to have a week off for my brain cells to recover this week!!
New Club Records
Last Saturday’s massive victory over Kendal was a remarkable day for the club and a personal triumph for two of our players, Simon Humberstone and Keane Naylor who both created new club personal scoring records.
Hull scored 13 tries with Simon converting 12 of them to beat the previous record of 11 scored by former fly-half and skipper James Cameron on 13 November 2010 in a National Two North home win over Manchester by 102-3, which is still our highest-ever win.
Keane Naylor scored seven tries which beats the previous record of five, held jointly by Mateo Malupo and Steve Hihetah. Mateo scored his five tries on 20 September 2008 in a North Division One home win against Westoe by 63-8. This was the season we gained promotion to National Two North as runners-up and our first season at the Ferens Ground. Westoe recovered very well to be promoted as champions whilst we defeated Chester by 40-12 in the play-off.
Steve Hihetah scored his five tries on 28 October 2017 in a Northern Premier League home win over Sandal by 46-14 and he went on to create a new club record of 34 the same season.
Keane’s seven tries also make him the new record points in a game holder as his 35 points beat the previous record of 30 points scored by David Prescott on 25 October 1997 in a North East Two home game against Hartlepool Rovers at our old Haworth Park ground.
I am sure that all at Hull RUFC will congratulate Simon and Keane on their achievements and the fact that they are both in their first season with our club augers very well for the future.