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Hull come from behind to win at Billingham

Hull went to Billingham with mixed feelings. Billingham were almost certainly out of the play-off race but had not been beaten on their own ground this season. 

Hull eventually ran out comfortable winners but not before having a real scare in a first half which saw Hull lose a lot of lineout ball and go seven points behind in the first quarter. 

Billingham had plenty of possession and were good value for a seven-point lead when their pressure told and Joe Evans scored a good try converted by Peter Evans after 20 minutes.

This was a jolt for the champions Hull, and as the half drew to a close free-scoring winger Mike Adlard sprinted over from a try to see Hull close the gap to two points.

Hull took 12 minutes in the second period to make their scrummaging count. A penalty try saw them take the lead for the first time.

The visitors were building pressure with a more consistent supply of the ball and with forwards Tom O’Donnell and Mike Jobling leading the way, Hull were starting to get the upper hand. 

A few minutes later, Hull’s off half Simon Humberstone’s delicate chip ahead was gathered by winger Stephen Hihetah who stormed over in the corner. Humberstone’s magnificent conversion seeing Hull looking relatively secure at 19-7 ahead.

Billingham had not been without their chances, but Hull had eventually got their game going and became a little more clinical after overcoming their first half possession problems.

The game was finally put beyond Billingham and a try bonus-point for Hull came when centre Ali Heard chipped through with accuracy for pacy Adlard to collect the ball and score Hull’s fourth try. 

Humberstone’s conversion gave the scoreline a more comfortable look than seemed likely earlier in the game, but Hull’s record of only two defeats all season sees them extending their lead at the top of the league to one of the biggest of margins in this league.

Richard Gore

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