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Fresh from their second league win of the season, the underachieving Hull FC made the trip across the Pennines to take on a Salford Red Devils side who are exceeding expectations after a player drain and well documented financial difficulties.

A win for Salford, as predicted by the bookies and the pundits, would put the Red Devils back into fifth spot and level on league points with the second placed St Helens while FC need three wins to get them above Castleford, should Castleford fail to register any more victories.

FC had a twelve-point start on the coupon, the bookies predicting a closer game than many pundits.

It was early stalemate, both sides probing and prodding but neither showing too much promise in their opponents twenty and resorting to speculative kicks on the last tackle which came to nothing.

There was little to choose between the sides until the twenty-six minute when Deon Cross finally broke the Hull FC defence when fast hands and miss out passes saw Ryan Brierley put his winger in for a four-pointer by the left corner flag. Marc Sneyd was wide with the conversion.

From the restart the hero turned zero as Cross spilled the ball close to his own line. FC took full advantage, Ben Reynolds finding a big gap in the Salford defence off the back of a scrum to round and score by the left upright. He added the conversion himself to edge FC into a two-point lead.

FC suffered a late scare after a defensive mix-up almost let Salford in for a second try as Cross went close to grounding his own hack forward. After consulting the video referee Tom Briscoe was sin-binned for a professional foul in the kick chase, and Sneyd accepted the penalty goal to level the scores at 6-6 after the half time hooter had sounded.

Two minutes after the restart the home side were back in the lead as Brierley caught a Sneyd chip over the top to summersault over the line and ground. Sneyd added the conversion for a 12-6 lead.

On forty-six Chris Hankinson used the space created by his teammates in a passing move from left to right to throw the dummy and beat his tackler to dive over. Sneyd added another conversion for 18-6, the flood gates creaking.

On fifty minutes Hull struck straight back Denive Balmforth pushing through a crowd of Salford tacklers with a scoot from acting half back to score after bouncing off the right post pad. Reynolds added the conversion, the home lead back to six points.

Sneyd pushed the lead out to eight points with a penalty after Hull were caught offside, but he was unable to ground the ball on sixty-four when he went over the line amongst a crowd of tacklers.

After Balmforth went close to a second try on sixty-eight, a chasing Jordan Lane collected a Jake Trueman grubber to ground for the third Black and Whites try of the afternoon. Reynolds was wide with his conversion, the gap down to four points.

A late hit in the tackle gave Sneyd another penalty goal, this one from thirty metres out, to edge his side into a six-point advantage with just over five minutes remaining.

With three minutes of the game remaining Lewis Martin went down the left wing to score in the corner thanks to the overlap created by Logan Moy. Reynolds wide with the touchline attempted conversion, the game slipped from the Airlie Birds grasp.

It was a hard-fought game between two evenly matched sides with the difference being the ten minutes that Briscoe was in the sin-bin, a ten minute period where Salford scored the crucial points that enabled them to hold on for the win in a tense eighty minutes. Salford in level second spot, Hull back to losing ways.

Salford Red Devils: Brierley (T), Ryan, Watkins, Hankinson (T), Cross (T), Atkin, Sneyd (5/6 G), Singleton, Mellor, Lewis, Wright, Stone, Partington. Subs: Bourouh, Vuniyayawa, Shorrocks, Dudson. 18th Man: Wilson. 

Hull FC: Moy, Briscoe (SB on 39), Tuimavave, Sutcliffe, Martin (T), Trueman, Reynolds (T 2/4 G), Ese’Ese, Houghton, Aydin, Lane (T), Kirby, Sao.  Subs: Gardiner, Balmforth (T), Fash, Chan. 18th Man: Litten.

Half-Time: 6-6.

Full-Time: 22-20.

Score Progression: 4-0, 4-4, 4-6, (SB), 6-6 : HT:10-6, 12-6, 16-6, 18-6, 18-10, 18-12, 20-12, 20-16, 22-16, 22-20  :FT.

Lead Exchanges: Salford – Square – FC – Square - Salford.

Referee: Chris Kendall.  



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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 7th Jul 2024 4:52 PM | Views : 1845 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES