HULL FC 26-27 WILDCATS

posted on 1 July 2013

Lee Smith kicked a drop goal with less than two minutes remaining to secure a dramatic win over Hull FC at the KC Stadium.

The centre was the hero after both sides had seen earlier efforts not hit the mark with Smith the man to hold his nerve and help clinch a vital two points in the pursuit of a top eight place.

Although the game was strewn with errors and the referee’s whistle, it was on the whole an entertaining affair, particularly in the final quarter when the outcome was in the balance.

Peter Fox scored a brace whilst there was also scores for Sykes, Oliver Wilkes and match winner Lee Smith.

Ben Crooks scored a second hat-trick is as many games for the black and whites who also saw Tom Lineham continue his rise to prominence with a try.

Richard Agar welcomed back Paul Aiton into his starting line-up in place of Matty Wildie in the only change to the seventeen from the side that defeated London Broncos.

The Wildcats were slow out of the blocks and Hull FC were quick to take advantage with Crooks taking a pass on the last from Holdsworth to open the scoring after less than five minutes.

After the early score there was little between the two teams and it was a moment of inspiration from a regular source of such moments that got the Wildcats on the scoreboard.  Tim Smith created the space to give Dean Collis the opportunity and he got out a trademark offload for Fox to race in at the right corner.

This gave Wakefield added impetus in the game and Agar’s men were looking the much more likely side to score, and so it proved.  Sykes’ fine cut-out pass gave Lee Smith the chance to stretch his legs and when he needed support, Sykes was on hand to reel in the pass and carry a Hull defender over the line with him.

At the midway point of the game the Wildcats were in the ascendency and seemingly with the match at their mercy.  However, cheap errors allowed the hosts the opportunity to haul their way back into the match.  After Washbrook had swept up one threat, Fox lost the ball on the second tackle coming away from his own line and Hull were quick to shift the ball from left to right where Lineham had a straightforward finish.

From there onwards it was tit for tat, neither side keeping hold of the ball for long enough periods to cause the other any real problems.  One of numerous penalties from the whistle of Tim Roby broke the stalemate and after Lee Smith boomed a kick to Hull’s twenty metre line, Trinity worked themselves within striking distance and Aiton fizzed a pass from dummy half to the charging Wilkes.  The prop forward was unstoppable from a few metres for his third try of the year, all in front of the Sky cameras.

Wakefield began the second half in the ascendency but when presented with a first attacking position it was a tame set and to compound it, Crooks scooped up Tim Smith’s grubber to race 100 metres and under the posts, despite the valiant chase back of Kirmond.  Tickle converted and the scores were level once more.

The next score seemed crucial and it went to the home side in controversial fashion.  Gareth Ellis took the ball in strongly but when it went free from his grasp it led to Crooks getting over.  The video referee was called for and whilst it looked like there had been a knock-on, the decision went the way of the hosts.

Justin Poore could count himself lucky to still be on the pitch after a dangerous tackle that went on report and minutes later he was unlucky not to get over the line, as a superb tackle around the ankles denied him.  However, from the next play the ball was moved quickly left and Lee Smith finished well but missed the conversion to leave the Wildcats trailing.

Wakefield had the wind in their sails and soon after Amor was striding forty metres downfield with a storming break.  He had Aiton in support and although the hooker was hauled down, Trinity maintained their composure.  Tim Smith took charge and delivered an inch-perfect kick that was matched by a majestic leap from Fox over the top of Tom Briscoe.  Lee Smith added the extras and Wakefield led by four points.

It was another high kick that brought Hull’s levelling score, Fox’s uncertainty in allowing it to bounce enabled Ellis to gather and throw a pass to Yeaman to go in at the corner.  It made it a difficult touchline conversion for Tickle and he dragged it wide to leave the sides level with less than five minutes on the clock.

First Jacob Miller had a drop goal charged down and then Sykes saw his drift tamely wide from forty metres.  But as Hull looked to move their way downfield they came up with the decisive error.  Trinity swooped and didn’t wait until the last play of the set to get Lee Smith in position to put the ball sailing between the posts and into the jubilant travelling support.

The drama didn’t end there.  Collis got his hand inadvertently to the restart to give Hull the scrum and with the injured  Holdsworth off the field they lost their way at a crucial time.  Miller had another crack but again it was charged down by the irrepressible Kirmond and Wakefield picked up the pieces to signal a memorable victory.

Wildcats: Mathers, Fox, Collis, L. Smith, Cockayne, Sykes, T. Smith, Poore, Aiton, Amor, Mariano, Kirmond (c), Washbrook. Replacements: Raleigh, Lauitiiti, Wood, Wilkes.

Hull FC: McDonnell, Lineham, Crooks, Yeaman, Briscoe, Holdsworth, Miller, Watts, Houghton, O’Meley, Ellis, Westerman, Galea. Replacements: Lynch, Heremaia, Johnson, Tickle.

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