Academy U19 League Season Spilt – Group One – Round Eight – Saturday 08th August – Hull 24 Saints 34 – YPI
Hull FC’s two game winning streak came to an end at the hands of a classy St Helens outfit, who recorded their second victory at YPI in just three months to return to the top of the table.
Richard Horne’s men were understrength, with six players out through injury, illness or first team call ups – not that it stopped their competitiveness, coming back from 28-6 down to set up a highly entertaining final quarter.
Both sides were evenly matched early on, with breaks limited. A tight battle looked to be emerging, and it was the impressive rookie Zeus Silk who opened the scoring – running a superb inside line off a Josh Wood pass.
Though a mistake from the kick off proved crucial, giving Saints the opportunity to strike – and an opportunity they capitalised on with Calvin Wellington getting on the end of the first of many sweeping back line moves.
Saints just like they did in the previous fixture at YPI got a roll on, with a penalty giving them the field position to strike again. Ricky Bailey got the first of his brace, before two then became three as Aaron Smith got the better of Jansin Turgut to scoot over.
What was originally an even contest looked anything but, as Hull mistakes were ruthlessly punished. Levy Nzoungou was the next to strike, with pitbull like full back Ricky Bailey rounding off the first half onslaught with an excellent try.
At 28-6 Hull looked to be well beaten, but such an unwanted scenario never occurred, as the young Black and Whites muscled up to put some hard earned pride and respectability into the score-line.
In form Jez Litten brilliantly scooted over for his first try of the year to kick start Hull’s resistance. The first year pivot once more upped his side’s game from the bench, at both hooker and fullback – showing his notable versatility.
Head and shoulders above the rest at the moment, Jez has flourished in his first season at this level, and it was his eye for a break that almost brought Hull victory.
Hull on top at this point were dealt a sucker punch, as pacey winger Regan Grace broke free in a sixty or so metre dash to the line. Though the young Black and Whites wouldn’t lie down – with Jack Downs scoring through a last tackle play. Zeus Silk then added his second, with Harry Tyson-Wilson keeping up his impressive 100% record with the tee.
Within ten points of the visitors Hull were back in the game, but consequently so were left to rue a series of costly errors. Just like the first team last night they seemed to panic with time on their side, as completion rates soured with the errors picking up.
Saints missed the chance to extend their lead with Richardson missing a penalty goal, but little did it matter as they closed the game out with a ten point victory.
Hull Starting XIII: 1. Jack Sanderson, 2. Mike Adlard, 3. Zeus Silk, 4. Matty Liggins, 5. Ryan Adamson, 6. Harry Tyson-Wilson, 7. Josh Wood, 8. Brad Fash, 9. Brad Harrison, 10. Masimbaashe Matongo, 11. Ash Bastiman, 12. Jack Downs, 13. Jansin Turgut. Interchange: 14. Ross Osborne, 15. Charlie Weaver, 16. Brad Clavering, 17. Jez Litten.
Hull Tries: Silk 2, Litten, Downs. Goals: Tyson-Wilson 4/4
Saints Starting XIII: 1. Ricky Bailey, 2. Dave Eccleston, 3. Matty Costello, 4. Calvin Wellington, 5. Regan Grace, 6. Danny Richardson, 7. Rob Fairclough, 8. Ross MaCauley, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Levy Nzoungou, 11. Olly Davies, 12. Morgan Knowles, 13. Joe Ryan. Interchange: 14. Jonah Cunningham, 15. Phil Atherton, 16. Ben Morries, 17. Chris Worrall.
Saints Tries: Wellington, Bailey 2, Smith, Nzoungou, Grace. Goals: Richardson 5/7
Referee: Jack Smith (Wigan)