Hull FC Reserves earned a hard-fought victory over Widnes Vikings Reserves in stormy conditions on Saturday afternoon, coming out 20-16 victors.
The two sides fought out a thrilling game despite the poor conditions at Brantingham Park, with Charlie Graham bagging a hat-trick in the contest, while fellow winger James Driver got over for FC’s other try.
In and end to end contest in which the visitors wouldn’t go away, Ben McNamara kicked four out of five goals in blustery conditions.
Four out of the five players named in the England National Academy Performance Squad yesterday featured for Hull in the form of Jacob Hookem, Jude Ferreira, Kai Tyson and Ben McNamatra.
Connor Wynne started the game at loose-forward, and captained the side.
Widnes had the first real chance of the game through back-rower Josh Wilde. A short-ball in the middle was spilled over the line after nine minutes and the Vikings piled on some early pressure.
However, the early pressure soon resulted in the first score of the game for the visitors. A move to the right edge was finished off by Owen Buckley who had acres of space to score. Calland couldn’t convert in the wind.
The Vikings look to go further ahead after 15 minutes when Billy Glover broke away down the right edge, but his offload to the half-back was taken by the wind and the chance was lost.
Hull had their first score with their first real chance of the game on the 25 minute mark. Centre Jude Ferreira made a down-field break from his own half, and unselfishly fed the ball to Charlie Graham to finish off the move with pace. McNamara converted in front of the posts.
Widnes had another chance in the right corner, as half-back Dugdale’s basketball pass looked to have put Glover in, but the pass was deemed to have gone forward.
Widnes were reduced to 12 men before the break when Josh Wilde was sent to the sinbin for a late effort on McNamara.
HALF-TIME: Hull FC 6-4 Widnes Vikings
Despite the worsening of the conditions as Storm Denis rolled in, Hull started better after the break and had their second try of the game just minutes into the half as James Driver dived over with an acrobatic effort in the corner. Hull put the pressure on with a Connor Wynne 40/20 beforehand, giving the Black & Whites room to attack in the Widnes half.
Widnes though brought the scores level on the hour mark as Declan Barker scooted from close range to touch down under the posts.
In and end to end contest, a tipper tackle on Graham saw McNamara slot over another penalty and give FC a slender lead in the closing quarter.
Graham would bag his second as the game entered its final ten minutes, again with another acrobatic finish from the opposite FC winger. McNamara converted brilliantly from the touchline to give Hull and eight point lead.
But Widnes weren’t done there, and a break from full-back Daniel Hill to score under the sticks set up a nervy final few moments.
But a late penalty from McNamara, his fourth out of five on a blustery afternoon, secured the win for Hull.
FULL-TIME: Hull FC 20-16 Widnes Vikings
Squads & Scorers:
Hull FC: Marcus Walker, James Driver, Jude Ferreria, Charlis Graham, Ben McNamara, Jacob Hookem, Ryan Dearing, Elliot Windley, Harry Bardle, Will Wallis, Jack Bartlett, Connor Wynne.
Interchange: George Cooke, Callum Rutland, Kai Tyson, Leon Stewart.
Tries: Graham (25, 71), Driver (44)
Goals: McNamara (4/5)
Widnes Vikings: Daneil Hill, Owen Buckley, Billy Glover, Connor Williams, Oiver Brookes, Sean Findlow, Jacob Dugdale, Jordan Case, Callum Wood, Calum O’Neill, Jordan Brown, Josh Wilde, Bradley Calland.
Interchange: Lewis Hulme, James Rutledge, Declan Baker, Will Donnelley
Tries:Buckley (10) Barker (61), Hill (75)
Goals: Calland (2/3)