Last Saturday our side travelled to Harrogate hoping to set up a new club record of 22 consecutive wins but our wonderful unbeaten run came to an end when Harrogate, who still have a chance of the promotion via a play-off spot, won a very close and tough game by 21-17, scoring the winning try in the last play of the game. Hull took a 10-0 half-time lead thanks to a Simon Humberstone penalty goal in the 35th minute and a penalty try in the 37th. Two converted tries in the first 10 minutes of the second period gave ‘Gate a 14-10 advantage before another penalty try to Hull made it 17-14. The game went into five minutes of added time before ‘Gate secured the points with another converted try. We expected a hard and close game which is just what we got but this time had to be satisfied with a losing bonus point. I am sure we all wish Harrogate well in their last three games, their ground is a lot nearer that those of Billingham and Blaydon for next season’s fixtures!!
Elsewhere in the division Billingham recovered from their shock defeat at Kirkby Lonsdale with a resounding 75-10 home win over Vale of Lune; Blaydon did likewise to the tune of 44-20 at home to Wilmslow and Ilkley travelled to Lymm and posted a 21-16 win.
Rossendale had a comfortable 30-7 home win over visitors Kirkby Lonsdale; Sandal had a 17-7 home win over Alnwick and in the shock result of the day Kendal travelled to Wirral knowing that a defeat would confirm their relegation but they pulled off a very good 28-15 victory.
All this means that there is no change at the top of the table with the runners-up spot still uncertain and in the nether regions Vale of Lune join Wilmslow in relegation while Kendal live to fight another day.
Today’s other fixtures mainly seem pretty easy to predict although ninth-placed Alnwick might have a surprise for third-placed Billingham, but Ilkley should have no trouble against Wilmslow at Stacks Field where they have a good record. Kendal’s relegation should be confirmed when they host second-placed Blaydon, but the Kirkby Lonsdale v Wirral fixture could go the way of the Cumbrians if Wirral’s result last week is anything to go by. Lymm will not be looking forward to the visit of Harrogate who will be full of confidence after seven consecutive victories. Finally, Vale of Lune v Rossendale where thirteenth play seventh should see Ross win with something to spare.
Next Saturday our side travel to Billingham to take on the side we defeated very easily by 49-7 back on December 8th. We scored seven converted tries that afternoon to post a score which was uncommonly high for a fixture between first and second in the division. Billingham play on an artificial G4 pitch and they are unbeaten at home this season, but having a pitch like that has its drawbacks as Billingham have not acclimatised to the heavier pitches in the mid-season and the five games they have lost have all been away from home at Rossendale, Vale of Lune, Hull, Ilkley and Wirral. These defeats could cost them dearly as they chase the play-off spot but they will present Hull with a tough challenge on their own ground.
We close our season on April 13th with a home game against the side that beat us 29-28 on the first day of the season, Rossendale RUFC. We out-scored them by four tries to two that day and came away with two bonus points, normally not a bad return from a visit to Rossendale, but we will be wanting to end our promotion season on a high by winning our three remaining games, beginning today.