Hull FC Under 16s lost 28-20 to Bradford Bulls Scholarship this evening, despite a valiant comeback attempt in the second half.
It’s now back-to-back defeats for the Hull Scholarship outfit, who failed to attain the lead at any stage throughout the match, even though there were a number of bright spells across the 80.
A second-half brace from Henry Watkinson kept the hosts in the tie, but it was too tall a mountain to climb against a Bradford side that took their chances on the night.
A lovely piece of play from Bradford saw them open the scoring after eleven minutes, with Frederick Butler delaying the pass to centre Harvey Duckworth on the halfway line. The outside back pierced through the defensive line and weaved his way towards the try line.
Hull will certainly have been more frustrated with the way in which they conceded the second try of the evening, when hooker Henry Welsh wrestled the ball to the ground from dummy half at close range.
Looking for some inspiration to get back into the contest, Hull found it when Lloyd Kemp swept out of the back on a scrum play to send Toby Matson in at the left corner.
Kemp’s twin brother, Callum, orchestrated FC’s second try just over five minutes later as a gloriously executed double-pump pass gave Finley Mainprize a one-way ticket to the try line.
HALF-TIME: Hull Scholars 8-10 Bulls Scholars
Hull’s lack of care with possession inside their own half came at a price early in the second half, as Bradford patiently worked their way to the right edge and came up with four more points as George McKinley squirmed over.
The visitors made it a quickfire double two minutes later when Matson dropped a Thomas Bell kick cold. The ball was picked up and scored by a very grateful Sam Spencer – Bell’s conversion made it 20-8.
As the game entered its final quarter, both teams went hell for leather to take victory at the University of Hull, and the Black & Whites were back on track as Lennon Nicholson drew in his winger and found Watkinson with a simple pass to the right corner.
Hull’s hopes were once again dashed when Isaac Lee did enough to take a crossfield kick under his spell and evade Rhys Yorke to score in the right corner.
But the Black & Whites were back in the contest once again as Jackson Smith regained possession from the restart. A couple of plays into the set, Nicholson dotted down in the right corner as Hull once again exposed a jaded Bulls left edge.
That Bradford left edge was chasing shadows moments later as Nicholson executed a delicious flick pass to see Watkinson dive in at the corner, reducing the deficit to four points after Kemp’s missed conversion with six minutes to play.
From the restart, Hull had all of the momentum with some bullish carries, but the ball was turned over inside the FC half when the referee harshly adjudged that Smith had incorrectly played the ball. Bradford weren’t hanging around and wanted to seal the victory, so there were rapturous celebrations when Lee got his second try of the evening in the right corner with three minutes to go.
FULL-TIME: Hull Scholars 20-28 Bulls Scholars
Squads & Scorers
Hull: L Kemp, Matson, McCracken, Nicholson, Watkinson, Thompson, C kemp, Opie, Swyer, Howe, Calvert, Mainprize, Nutbrown
Hull Interchanges: Hayward, Render, C Smith, J Smith, Walker, Wilson, Yorke
Hull Tries: Matson, Mainprize, Watkinson (2), Nicholson
Hull Goals: C Kemp (0/3), Thompson (0/2)
Bulls: Jepson, Robinson, Duckworth, Spencer, Singh, Butler, Bell, Leake, Welsh, Dibden, Baker, McKinley, King
Bulls Interchanges: Andrews-Smith, Baker, Boylan, Hutchinson, Lee, Marshall
Bulls Tries: Duckworth, Welsh, McKinley, Spencer, Lee (2)
Bulls Goals: Bell (2/6)