An eleventh-hour try from Marcus Walker helped Hull FC Reserves defeat Castleford Tigers Reserves 22-20 at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Saturday afternoon.
It was a day for Hull FC’s Rising Stars to shine brightest, with all five of the Black & Whites’ tries scored by youngsters involved in the development programme.
Castleford led for most of the game, thanks to tries from Tyla Hepi, Mackenzie Scurr and a brace from George Collins.
But it was a pair of braces from Walker and Davy Litten, as well as a score from Harvey Barron that helped secure a second consecutive victory for Hull’s Reserves.
Amongst Castleford’s squad on Saturday were a handful of players with Super League experience. One of those, with almost 200 senior appearances to his name, was Tyla Hepi, who drew first blood with a powerful drive over the try line with ten minutes played.
But the Black & Whites were showing their teeth in the early exchanges and they threatened to draw level when Litten bounced the ball over the whitewash in his attempts to score.
Just a couple of minutes later, the visitors did have their try, and Litten was involved once again. His well-timed pass put Walker through a hole to finish off a finely-worked play.
Bursting with youth and energy, Hull took the lead for the first time with just over a quarter of the game gone. This time, it was Litten on the receiving end of a perfect pass from Jacob Hookem, who was playing his first game since September after recovering from a foot injury.
Litten certainly was at the heart of the action in the first half, but he saw a pass to the left wing intercepted by Collins, who raced away to bring the scores level once again.
The Tigers pounced on an opportunity to re-take the lead prior to half-time when Scurr latched onto a cutout pass from Jason Qareqare and scored in the left corner.
HALF-TIME: Tigers 14-10 Hull
Collins’ second try of the game put Castleford ten points ahead when he was on the end of a smart Cain Robb grubber kick under the uprights.
As the match entered the final quarter, Hull’s hopes of heading back from West Yorkshire victorious were fading.
But Litten came to the forefront again to get the Black & Whites right back in the contest with a piece of individual brilliance. The fullback collected a kick 20 metres from his own try line before busting through three tackle attempts and racing away to score.
The visitors were gathering some serious momentum and they were back to within just two points when Barron climbed highest to claim a Hookem kick and dot down in the right corner.
The comeback was complete when Hookem claimed his third assist of the afternoon, picking a perfect pass to Walker. The centre was ankle-tapped on his way to the whitewash, but he regained his footing and threw himself over the try line with a little over a minute left on the clock.
FULL-TIME: Tigers 20-22 Hull
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Squads & Scorers
Hull: Litten, Barron, Walker, Wynne, Martin, Hookem, McNamara, Burrell, Balmforth, Laidlaw, Stewart, Gilbey, Staveley
Hull Interchanges: Gardiner, Jebson, Rutland, Trulson
Hull Tries: Walker (2), Litten (2), Barron
Hull Goals: McNamara (1/5)
Tigers: Qareqare, Vasuitoga, Stanley, Thornton, Scurr, Collins, Sadler, Hepi, Robb, Ransome, Martin, Blair, Hall
Tigers Interchanges: Attley, Fella Mallinson, Thompson
Tigers Tries: Hepi, Collins (2), Scurr
Tigers Goals: Collins (2/4)