Ben McNamara stars as Hull FC Reserves edge past Halifax

Hull FC Reserves got their seventh win of the season with a hard-earned 16-4 victory over Halifax on Saturday afternoon, a game in which Ben McNamara, son of former Hull player Steve, impressed again.

Ben was outstanding. Over in Cheshire his dad was watching his Catalans side get battered by Wire, but he would’ve enjoyed this performance by his lad. Following an impressive debut at Wakefield a fortnight ago, Ben led Hull up and down the pitch, putting in some dangerous kicks and also getting his name on the score sheet in what was a tough day for attacking rugby.

Elsewhere young three-quarters Kieran Buchanan and Charlie Graham were again impressive at this level. Buchanan has enjoyed some Super League experience of late and he was good here for the Reserves too, whilst Graham is looking really promising in his debut season.

Hull also handed out an appearance to Greece international captain Stefanos Bastas. The first Greek player to pull on a FC shirt, the 25-year-old, who currently plays for Doncaster in League One, is a big fella and he ran hard during his time on the pitch.

It was an error stricken first half due to the horrendous wet weather conditions at Hullensians on Saturday afternoon, with Halifax earning a lot of possession. Fortunately due to some stern defence from the Hull side, Fax were unable to turn any of this into points. Hull were being marched up the field by Danny Washbrook, who was showing his experience and composure, and also by McNamara, who really was impressive in just his second game in the Black and White.

Opportunities came and went for both sides, but it was Hull who opened the scoring on the 20 minute mark after some brilliant play from Buchanan set up McNamara to score from about 15m out. He converted his own try to make it 6-0. The rest of the first half carried on in similar fashion, with neither side able to string a combination of two completed sets together. The first half ended 6-0.

The second half started in similar fashion once again, with the rain continuing to be relentless. Hull were starting to play some better rugby, with the half-back partnership of McNamara and Kieran Smith causing some defensive problems for Fax. They forced repeat set after repeat set, but Fax remained firm.

However the pressure came to fruition in the 44th minute when a quick scoot from Connor Wynne from about 20m out gave Hull that bit more security. Unfortunately, for him, his game ended shortly after that with what initially looked like an awful ankle injury – luckily after Up the Cream had a word with him, we can say that it was only a rolled ankle – nothing serious.

Hull then scored again to seal the game after some good set up play from McNamara eventually saw the ball make its way out to Graham, who finished superbly in the corner. That was worth the entry fee alone. McNamara missed the kick from the corner. It was then Fax’s turn to get on the score-sheet when the winger (don’t know his name) finished well. And that was that – a seventh win in eight games for Hull FC Reserves with Featherstone away up next on Sunday week….

Hull Starting XIII: 1. Connor Wynne, 2. Charlie Graham, 3. Kieran Buchanan, 4. Ryan Langton, 5. Josh Atkinson, 6. Ben McNamara, 7. Kieran Smith, 8. Stefanos Bastas, 9. Jordan Webster, 10. Elliot Townsend, 11. Jordan Thompson, 12. Danny Washbrook, 13. Harvey Gotts. Interchange: 14. Ryan Price, 15. George Cooke, 16. Callum Stark, 17. Brandon Leggett.

Hull Tries: McNamara, Wynne, Graham. Goals: McNamara 2/3

UTC Man of the Match: Ben McNamara

Report and Pics by Jack Salt and Libby French

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