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Hull beat Kirkby Lonsdale to move 18 points clear

Hull eventually won well and widened the gap between themselves and the rest of the league as Billingham lost leaving Blaydon in second place 18 points adrift.

Kirkby Lonsdale gave Hull a good examination with a well-organised defence and great comittment but Hull’s powerful pack was not to be denied as they had the edge in the scrumage and the close quarter exchanges.

Three tries from short range by wing forward Tom O’Donnell merely emphased Hull’s strength in the pack. 

Hull started well and after a break by centre Steve Johnson released winger Stephen Hihetah to hand off a couple of would be tacklers to score a try allowing off half Simon Humberstone to convert and see Hull seven points up. 

Any thoughts that flood gates would open were dispelled as Kirkby Lonsdale not only tackled well  but started to get a supply of ball. A 40-yard penalty by their off half Mike Fearon saw Hull’s lead trimmed to four points after 14 minutes. 

It took Hull another 10 minutes to score again when they maintained possession after a scrum and Tom O’Donnell forced his way over for a try converted by Simon Humberstone. 

Hull kept up the pressure but the home side were equal to the task and they kept Hull at bay going into the break only 14-3 down.

The second period started ominously for Hull. Having lost flanker Rupert Kay early on the first half prop Dominic Hardman left the field injured just minutes into the second period.

Just eight minutes later Kirkby had a chance to trim Hull’s lead but a missed penalty kick was to be their last the realistic scoring opportunity.

Hull slowly exerted a stranglehold on the game  using scrummaging power and driving lineouts and two converted tries in the 58th and 66th minute sealed the victory. 

Both tries were scored by the tireless Tom O’Donnell with the unerring boot of Simon Humberston adding the conversions.

Hull had been somewhat depleted during the game by injuries and were further hampered when prop Michael Dias was sent off for retaliating after 69 minutes.

It made no difference as Kirkby could find no way through an uncompromising defence leaving Hull with maximum points from a tough encounter.

Richard Gore

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