A tense derby game in murky conditions at Brantingham Park saw both sides have good moments, but Hull spent a bit more time than Ionians in their opponents half and were eventual winners with a late penalty seeing Hull win their first derby in 4,039 days by a 22-16 scoreline.
Hull started well and in the fourth minute, after the home side had twice illegally halted Hull’s drives from lineouts, the visitors used a further penalty award well with a line out and a good catch and drive to see number eight Will Hall get the touch down on his return to the side. Simon Humberstone added the conversion.
Just four minutes later, Hull were back in the Ionians ’22’ and having been held up in the forwards, they moved the ball right for winger Keane Naylor to make the try scoring pass for Reece Dean to scamper over for an unconverted try.
Ionians responded quickly and from a line out in Hull’s ’22’ they moved the ball left down the blind side for their number eight George Mewburn to touch down for an unconverted try to get his side back into things at 12-5 after 18 minutes.
Hull found the home side in combative mood and did well to withstand more pressure, but it was Hull who finished the first half the stronger. Charlie Beech and Ben Bootham came on after 33 minutes and then after three scrums taken after penalty awards, they moved the ball left and excellent handling saw winger Mike Adlard go in at the left hand corner for an unconverted try on the stroke of half-time to see Hull leading 19-5 at the break.
The second half looked promising for Hull but after 46 minutes, a Hull attack saw Ionians winger Nathan Hill intercept on his own ’22’ and race 80 yards for a great try. Although the conversion was missed, the home side were right back in it.
The game was in the balance and after two penalties from Ionians full back Lewis Minikin in the 55th and 72nd minutes took the home side to within three points of the visitors, a nail biting few minutes lay ahead.
Hull gathered themselves and were able to apply enough pressure to get a couple of penalties and get field position. Then, when Ionians were penaliesd again in front of their posts, Humberstone calmly kicked the goal to see Hull lead 22-16 after 78 minutes.
Ionians threw everything at Hull but in the last remaining moments but Hull were not to be denied and ran out victor’s 22-16.