Last Saturday our side travelled into Cumbria to take on Kirkby Lonsdale RUFC and they were given a typical Cumbrian welcome – it rained hard for all but ten minutes of the game, but our boys proved equal to the task and came away with a 28-3 victory which also included the winning bonus point as they ran in four converted tries.
After Hull had scored a brilliant early try from Steve Hihetah, who ran fifty yards through the heart on the KLon defence, the rain became very heavy and it was evident that running rugby was going to be at a premium. Our forwards took over proceedings and against a very determined home pack they gained dominance with three further tries, all scored from close range by Tom O’Donnell. Simon Humberstone converted all four and his game management came to the fore in the wet conditions throughout the match. Press Officer Richard Gore commented, ‘After two easy wins we needed a hard game and this is what we got’.
Elsewhere in the division third-placed Blaydon hammered visitors Sandal by 69-12; Ilkley continued their strong home form with a comfortable 20-3 win over Rossendale; Kendal made a quick recovery from their heavy defeat at Hull the previous when they beat fellow-strugglers Lymm 11-10 in a nail-biter at Mint Bridge and another struggling side, Vale of Lune, lost at home to Alnwick by 24-7. Bottom of the table Wilmslow were no match for a rampant visiting Harrogate who posted a 54-5 victory while the surprise of the day was at Wirral where the home side beat second-placed Billingham by 27-10.
These results have made very little difference to the placings although at the top Blaydon have moved up into second place at the expense of Billingham who are now third again. Hull lead the table by a massive 18 points over Blaydon who are on 65 points with Billingham on 64, just four ahead of fourth-placed Harrogate on 60. In the nether regions Wilmslow are bottom with 10 points, Vale of Lune have 24 points, Kendal have 26 and are four behind Lymm who are on 30.
Wilmslow look as if they are destined to return from whence they came but the other three look set for a hard relegation battle to avoid filling the other two drop spots. Kirkby Lonsdale on 38 could also be dragged into it too if they are not careful.
The division now have a blank week-end before hostilities resume on February 9th and I will review those fixtures next week.