Lewis Bienek scored a last-minute try to give Hull FC Reserves a 20-18 victory in their first match of the season against Bradford Bulls Reserves this afternoon.
The Black & Whites had to come from behind twice in the match, but Kieron Purtill’s side overcame the tough conditions to claim two points in the Reserves Championship season opener at Brantingham Park.
With a swirling wind making life tricky for the players, it was Bradford who struck first blood after enjoying more of the ball in the early exchanges.
Hull failed to deal with a Bradford kick, and the winger Ryan Butterworth managed to pick up the pieces and burrow his way over the whitewash.
Halfway into the first half, the visitors made it 10-0. Matthew Race threw a big dummy in the middle of the park and sliced through the Hull defence to score underneath the sticks.
Mahe Fonua’s first piece of class in the match resulted Hull FC’s first points of the afternoon. The centre powered his way through a couple of tackles, before assisting Jude Ferreira, who had a walk in at the right corner.
Race added an extra two points for the Bulls just before half time, with Hull’s discipline proving to waver after conceding a cheap penalty.
Half-time: Hull FC Reserves 4-12 Bradford Bulls Reserves
The Black and Whites started the second half much stronger and were rewarded with points.
Connor Wynne scored the best try of the afternoon, busting through two tackles and breezing past a number of tackle attempts to finish a sensational 60-metre effort.
Wynne, who captained the reserves this afternoon, was involved in the next try. Smart play saw the fullback set up Charlie Graham for a walk in at the corner. McNamara’s missed conversion meant the scores were 14-12 in Hull’s favour with 17 minutes to play.
As Hull looked to see the game out, the Bulls had other ideas. Bradford built pressure and their hard work paid off when Dewi Billingham crashed over from close range. Race’s conversion gave the visitors a 4-point advantage and it looked as though they would take the two points.
However, in what turned out to be the final play of the game, Bienek forced his way over from close range beside the goal posts, leaving a straightforward conversion for Ben McNamara.
The final whistle sounded after the conversion and the two competition points went to Hull FC Reserves.
Full-time: Hull FC Reserves 20-18 Bradford Bulls
Hull FC: Connor Wynne, Charlie Graham, Eldon Myers, Mahe Fonua, Jude Ferreira, Albert Kelly, Ben McNamara, Lewis Bienek, Elliott Windley, Jack Brown, Charlie Patterson-Lund, Kieran Buchanan, Kai Tyson, George Cooke, Jacob Hookem, Ryan Dearing, Will Wallis
Bradford Bulls: Alix Stephenson, Ryan Leadbeater, Elliott Culling, Sam Smith, Ryan Butterworth, Matthew Race, Billy Jowitt, James McGurk, Cameron Berry, Bradley Ho, Vytas Vaznys, Daniel Waite-Pullan, Dewi Billingham, Luke Littlewood, Kian Oldroyd, Ethan O’Hanlon, Murphy Smith