Broadstreet Rugby Football Club were geared up for the visit of a resurgent, much strengthened, Hull RUFC side, in this must win game for both clubs. The away fixture had been a tight affair with ‘Street edging Hull by 15 points to 11; but, with Hull recruiting a clutch of Championship players and a Bradford Bull’s cross-code full-back; this match promised to be a tough task for the home side with their visitors coming off the back of two emphatic wins, against Leicester Lions (27 – 0) and Otley (30 – 18). In the end, ‘Street, reflecting the weather, put on a sunshine performance despite a tricky, strong blustery wind running in five tries to Hull’s two, in taking maximum points, through a commanding 34 – 12 victory, writes Bob Harcourt.
The game was held up for almost half an hour, after twenty minutes had been played in the first half, for an injury to Hull’s prop forward, Colin Phillips. Thankfully, he was later released from University Hospital to travel home with his colleagues, with no serious damage apparent. We wish Colin a speedy recovery and return to playing.
Being unthinkable to move the injured player, the match resumed on Pitch Two where it was concluded, due to a lengthy wait, lasting well into the second half, for an ambulance.
‘Street received the original kick off and had to weather an early onslaught from pumped up visitors, playing with the advantage of the gale, but, once they got their hands on the ball, ‘Street showed great ball retention and tactical nous against the wind and were not afraid to move the ball through the hands at opportune times, with great cross-field support play from wingers Josh Palmer and Jeff Gregson and a lively directorial performance at full back from Ben Cooper. One such movement, involving a slick passage of play in the Hull half, involving Beau Carney and Ben Palmer put right wing Jeff Gregson clear for a try on the left, after fourteen minutes play. Fly half Ben Palmer narrowly missed a difficult conversion attempt against the wind; ‘Street 5 Hull 0.
Two try scrum half Nick Thatcher, who, together with his half back partner Ben Palmer, commanded the troops and the tactics admirably throughout; with the former finishing off a forward surge for ‘Street’s second unconverted try after twenty two minutes; ‘Street 10 Hull 0. Following the pitch change, ‘Street played keep ball against the wind and with hooker Mike Worthington and a back row of number 8 Chris Wood; openside Jamie Harrop and blindside Gareth Turner working overtime in the tackle stakes; behind a solid engine room of Joe Foreman, Henry Sandys, Aaron Crofts and Matthew Solomon, they were unfortunate not to extend their lead before the break. The gale, some tenacious defence by the visitors and great marauding by ‘Street whenever Hull got their hands on the ball, kept play mostly away from the ends before half-time oranges;
Half Time: Broadstreet 10 Hull 0
Resumption saw ‘Street kick long into Hull territory and it took just a minute to see flanker Gareth Turner touchdown after a penalty lineout drive. Palmer converted; ‘Street 17 Hull 0. Six minutes later Hull put their first points on the board with a similar penalty lineout drive; replacement Robert Devonshire getting the first of his two touch downs. Full back, Jamie Foster failed with the difficult conversion attempt; ‘Street 17 Hull 5 – and over half an hour to go.
Ben Palmer coolly slotted a penalty on 52 minutes; ‘Street 20 Hull 5 before home personnel changes saw replacement centre James Otutaha slice a perfect path through the midfield defence with his first touch of the ball to feed the ever-present Nick Thatcher for his second try. Palmer made no mistake with the extras; ‘Street 27 Hull 5 with the final quarter still to play.
With fresh forward legs on the field; in the shape lock Danny Wright, number 8 Jack Gibbons, hooker Stewart Pearl and prop Jake Dodd, the game lifted again as Hull tried to play catch-up and, with a great in-the-face defence effort from ‘Street, the visitors looked down and out as centre Andy Murray finished off a sweeping move, which included some individual Murray Magic, to run in ‘Street’s fifth try of the day with ten minutes remaining. Palmer converted from in front to put his side out of sight at ‘Street 34 – Hull 5
However, Hull showed fight in making the best of penalties coming their way to gain territory and a penalty lineout near the home line from which their pack powered over for Devonshire’s second try, after 72 minutes; converted by Foster, the score stood at, ‘Street 34 Hull 12 and eight minutes left. Hull pushed for more but ‘Street tightened up and there was no further scoring. “That was how we should do it, every week! Enthused Mrs Freemantle; “I didn’t think men could keep their mind on the job for that long”!
Full Time: ‘Street 34 Hull 12
Thought for the Game:
Mrs F is right! Concentration is the key to consummation! [No, it also infers completeness; perfection] Both teams needed to take the points for survival reasons, although Hull carried the greater burden of expectation, fielding a strong team on paper, and no doubt confident of taking the points given the narrow away score. But, as a well-known South African coach recently proffered, “The object [of coaching] is not to create a team of stars but a star team” Saturday’s was a star team performance, lads! [We’d all like to see more, please!]
SQUAD: Ben Cooper; Jefferey Gregson, Andrew Murray, Beau Carney, Josh Palmer; Ben Palmer, Nick Thatcher; Joe Foreman, Mike Worthington, Henry Sandys; Aaron Crofts, Matthew Solomon; Gareth Turner, Jamie Harrop, Chris Wood. Jake Dodd, Stewart Pearl, Danny Wright, Jack Gibbons, James Otutaha.