Hull FC Reserves pulled off a comprehensive second-half display to defeat Bradford Bulls Reserves 38-12 at Odsal Stadium last night.
Alfie Oldridge, Jacob Hookem and Charlie Severs put Hull into an early 16-0 lead, but tries from Lewis Camden and Will Adams got the hosts back into the contest before the break.
Despite a gutsy effort to mount a comeback, the Bulls resolve cracked just before the hour mark, with Severs claiming his double, Kye Armstrong securing a brace of his own and Denive Balmforth putting the icing on the cake for Hull.
Hull drew first blood and the first try of the evening was scored by a player who wasn’t originally scheduled to play in the game. Harvey Barron’s late call-up for first-team duty at Huddersfield paved the way for Oldridge to start on the left wing and he was on the receiving end of a short pass from Max Clarke to dive over in the left corner.
The visitors had some tough defensive work inside their own half to get through before they enjoyed possession down at the other end of the field, but their grit was rewarded when Hookem scooted his way over the whitewash underneath the posts from dummy half with just over quarter-of-an-hour played.
As the pressure built on the hosts in the first quarter of the match, Hull mercilessly ran in a third try. Callum Rutland appeared to have overcooked his grubber kick into the in-goal area from close range, but his former Heworth junior team mate Severs demonstrated his athleticism to keep his feet in play and dive on top of the bouncing ball to score.
Just as the Black & Whites appeared to settle things down on the approach to half-time, the Bulls registered their first points of the evening when George Flanagan Jr raced away from the markers from inside his own half, with Camden available in support once the Hull fullback Litten had been drawn in.
Bradford claimed a second try in quick succession and Flanagan Jr was at the heart of the action once again. His measured kick to the right corner was claimed by Adams, with the winger dotting down despite Oldridge’s best attempts to deny him. Flanagan Jr’s conversion from the right touchline cut the deficit back to just four points with nine minutes until half-time.
HALF-TIME: Bulls 12-16 Hull
The hosts, buoyed by a spirited end to the first-half, came out all guns blazing at the start of the second-half. They had an early try chalked off for a double movement, and after conceding a handful of penalties in double-quick time, the Black & Whites punished them once more. Rutland and Severs once again proved they were on the same wavelength as the halfback found the back-rower with a perfectly timed and weighted short pass from close range.
To their credit, the hosts stayed well within the tussle early in the second-half, but entering the final quarter of the game it was Hull’s Reserves that started to peel away. Rutland claimed another assist, although the post pad played a significant role in holding the ball up for Armstrong to pick up and score after the halfback’s teasing grubber kick.
Interchange forward Armstrong, who scored the first try in Hull’s Academy win over Bradford earlier in the season, had a brace within a matter of minutes at Odsal, rewarded for his push play thanks to a smart offload from Hookem.
Michael Shenton’s side rubber stamped a comfortable victory when Hookem’s cutout pass was collected by Balmforth from 15 metres out and he just had to round the fullback to score Hull’s seventh of the evening underneath the posts.
FULL-TIME: Bulls 12-38 Hull
Squads & Scorers
Hull: Litten, Oldridge, Clarke, Gilbey, Martin, Rutland, Chapman-Peterson, Gardiner, Hookem, Dulson, Severs, Stewart, Balmforth
Hull Interchanges: Armstrong, Gibson, Mafi, Petrie
Hull Tries: Oldridge, Hookem, Severs (2), Armstrong (2), Balmforth
Hull Goals: Rutland (5/7)
Bulls: Horner, Adams, Nichol, Myers, Foggin-Johnston, Flanagan Jr, Camden, Green, Arnold, Gray, Hoyle, Barraclough
Bulls Interchanges: Briggs, Hough, Toulson, Walker
Bulls Tries: Camden, Adams
Bulls Goals: Flanagan Jr (2/2)