MATCH REPORT: HLH V HULLENSIANS

The old saying about there being no pictures on scorecards was never truer than at Laund Hill on Saturday, when the home side faced Humberside opponents Hullensians. It’s fair to say that if the match were a picture it wouldn’t be given any gallery space. That said, it was all about the result for HLH and on that basis there was a happy outcome. With the possibility of relegation still in the air it was imperative that the home side secure a win and as the days results proved, with Dinnington also managing a win, the much needed points helped maintain a cushion between the two clubs.

There was not much between the two sides, with both making lots of mistakes however, the commitment from the players was there and ultimately it made for a fairly balanced contest. The home side were outgunned in terms of pack size but gained a little more momentum in relation to open play with the LH forwards slightly on top. The home side started well and applied the early pressure camped just outside the visitors 22 for decent periods, however on their first real venture into LH territory the visitors were awarded a penalty which they narrowly failed to convert. LH came back onto the attack and on 14 minutes were awarded a penalty of their own which they elected to kick for touch. From the subsequent catch and drive ground was made before the ball was whipped out along the line to inside centre Tom Bulloch. He suggested a pass was on, slightly wrong footing the defence which left a gap for him to go through and sprint to the line for the first score of the day. The ever reliable
Tom Egan was on hand to slot over the conversion to bring the score to 7-0

The match then became a midfield tussle until on 26 minutes the visitors broke the deadlock, taking full advantage of the LH poor tackling to touch down near the post leaving the easiest of conversions to bring the scores level. 7-7 Having got themselves on the scoreboard the visitors started to grow in confidence and after being awarded a penalty opted to kick for touch in the left corner. A clean catch resulted in the maul being set and the weight advantage in the pack was brought to bear, forcing the home side backwards over their own line for the visitors to claim a well executed forwards try. The conversion was just out of the kickers range.

7-12 From the restart LH launched an attack up the midfield with good work by youngsters Tom Dalton and Ash Lockwood together with the other forwards driving the ball into the visitors defence and making good ground. Having drawn in the opposition, scrum half Egan then spun out the pass along the line and then cleverly followed the ball, linking in at the end in time to take the final pass out wide having made the extra man. He didn’t need to be asked twice as he rounded the remnants of the defence to score out wide. The conversion attempt just fell wide of the mark. 12-12 Half time.

The second half was a much tighter affair with both sides having opportunities to score which failed as a result of either good defence or mistakes. On 68 minutes LH were awarded a penalty after Hullensians were caught offside allowing Egan to knock over the kick and put the home side back in front. 15-12 The pattern of the half continued with much of the game being played out in midfield and neither side dominating. The visitors had a good chance to level the scores on 78 minutes but the chance went begging after the ball sailed wide of the posts.

As the game drew to a close the home side continued to press and almost on the final whistle were given the opportunity to put the game beyond doubt when they were awarded another penalty after the visitors had infringed at the ruck. Egan stepped up and slotted the ball home leaving the home side to hang on for the final few minutes for the much needed win 18-12.

All in all a very satisfying result for the Laund Hill men. Absolutely no lack of commitment but at times they do appear to be devoid of a game plan. Some excellent performances from some of the younger players with Ben Hill in particular leading the charge for the more seasoned campaigners. In Tom Egan the side have a week in week out match winner. Lets hope that this win was enough to keep us in the division, finish the season well and continue to build for next year.

Reporter: Martin Hunt (Bunker)

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