For the first time this season West Hull managed to get over the finishing line at the expense of the then unbeaten Hull Dockers in a pulsating East-West cross-city derby at the West Hull Community Centre.
It was a very stop-start game which saw some 25 penalties meted out by the match official so the game played with a strong cross wind lacked continuity. The performance for the home side was one which player coach Mark Hewitt had been waiting for from his young charges.
“We have been playing pretty well and not quite getting over the finishing line but we managed that today” said Hewitt.
“Take away the Siddal game and we just came up short against Wigan St Patricks and were beaten on the last play at Wath Brow. We have a good squad and a real togetherness for a squad so young and who are learning all the time.
“We spoke about things earlier in the week and we were all about going out and getting the two points. Dockers are a good side but even after today’s win we need to work on a few things ahead of next weeks game at Oulton.”
West Hull may have won the game but it was the visitors who opened the scoring through the first of a Martin Johnson hat-trick. The centre went in off a Danny Ulyatt pass after good work by scrum half Karl Smirk.
The home side were quick to respond with two tries in a six minute spell from second row forward Paul Shaw who went in from an Ian Kirman-Hewitt combination. Centre Matt Thompson then scored the first of his two when Shaw put him in from close range.
As half-time approached West Hull increased their lead with a Chris Whinn try, the winger taking a looping pass from full back Reece Langley to go in at the corner. Dockers then reduced the arrears in injury time when a Nick Powley break ended with a Chris Stephenson
try for 14-8.
Dockers got back to within four points seven minutes after the break when substitute Steve Sellars and Danny Ulyatt sent Johnson in for his second. However two further West Hull tries in an eleven-minute spell pushed them to a 14-point lead at 26-12.
Plummer got the first after Hewitt had gone close and from acting half back the hooker went in for this time Hewitt to land the goal. The scrum half also landed the extras to Thompson’s second try with twelve minutes to go when the Dockers defence failed to deal with a kick through.
The visitors reply was immediate even after they had conceded the last try with Darren Bumby in the sin bin for retaliation on Ben Parker. It was a completed hat-trick for Johnson as he took an Ulyatt pass to go in.
Two minutes from time Tom Radley added another try for the home side when he picked up on a loose ball, which Shaw looked to have dropped. However the last score of the game went to Dockers when Jon Eccles
crashed over but it was a bemused assistant coach at the end of the game.
“I think we saved our worst performance of the season so far for this derby but I am far from happy with the manner of the defeat,” said Smirk.
“I think he (match referee) baffled the players with some of his decisions and baffled himself in the end. We were great going forward and at times looked really good but at other times we didn’t.
“There have been matches when we have got out of jail with late tries but this was one occasion we couldn’t do that. We’ll put this behind us and come good again as one defeat doesn’t make us a bad side.”
West Hull: Reece Langley, Tom Radley, Matt Thompson, Ryan Morrow, Chris Whinn, Ian Kirman, Mark Hewitt, Brian Newby, Matt Plummer, Mark Waller, Sam Radford, Paul Shaw, Dean Thompson Subs: Danny Bloom, Aiden Morton, Scott Howlett, Ben Parker
Man of the match: Paul Shaw
Hull Dockers: Danny Ullyatt
, Kristian Birch
, Martin Johnson, Craig Skelton
, Dom Proctor, Chris Stephenson
, Karl Smirk, Aaron Bradley, Alex Everitt, Darren Bumby, Jason Bowsley, Jon Eccles
, Nick Powley Subs: Andy Kay
, Steve Sellars, Anthony Tognola, Andy Taylor
Man of the Match: Martin Johnson
Referee: Michael Mannifield