SAINTS U19s produced probably their best 40 minutes of the season to completely beat Hull FC 50-20 on the road.
The game was certainly over as a contest by the break with Saints 32 points to the good but their point a minute scoring meant that FC were staring down the barrel of an extremely large gun by quarter time.
David Eccleston opened the scoring finishing a flowing move well diving over in the corner. It came from a neat grubber down the left by Dave Hewitt which earned a repeat set. From the restart Lewis Fairhurst sent a great miss pass to Matty Fleming who committed his defenders before feeding Eccleston who stepped inside before reaching out to score.
The Saints pack led by a rampant Greg Richards and Phil Atherton were making huge yards down the middle giving the backs acres of space in which to play and prompting their big name opposite numbers to call to be substituted to get out of the way.
Another deft grubber from Hewitt was too hot for the hosts to handle giving a scrum on the 10 metre line. Jake Spedding was held short on the first play but André Savelio didn’t suffer the same fate as he took three over with him from short range.
FC were contributing to their own downfall with some poor handling gifting Saints position and possession. The Saints third try came from such largesse with a scrum on the FC 40 metre line. Matty Fleming took the ball, ran to the left before sending a great ball out to the rampaging Spedding who shot through untouched on a 50 metre run to the sticks.
FC’s first attack on the Saints line led to another knock on. From the restart the Saints punished their mistake in the most professional fashion going 80 metres to score. Big drives from Lewis Galbraith and Atherton put the Saints on the front foot and on the last Hewitt chipped the ball to the right corner. The home winger thought he had time aplenty to diffuse the kick but he reckoned without Eccleston who jumped, knocked the ball out of the air back to the supporting Fleming who took it around to the posts for the score.
It was Fleming who scored Saints fifth try again profiting from some Eccleston magic. The young winger burst down the middle taking on the full back on a 70 metre run before finally being pulled down inches short in the left corner. Quick hands from the play the ball and a miss pass found Fleming in acres of space to again go around to the sticks.
The icing on the first half cake was provided by Jonah Cunningham who dove over from short range after a big hit by Richards and Joe Ryan had coughed up possession in FC territory.
Having played the entire first half in blazing sunshine the second started with driving rain and a thunderstorm and the change was evident on the pitch as well as off as the home side came out and scored in the first minute.
Both teams were finding it difficult to hold on to possession and pressure from the Saints forced an error on half way. It fell into the hands of Galbraith who sped away to the posts for the score.
The seesaw scoring continued with another, suspiciously forward pass try from the hosts down the left replied to by a jinking 10 metre run from Lewis Charnock after another knock on under the sticks.
The score was given a slightly false look with two more home tries but the Saints brought up the half century as Charnock again scored under the posts from another repeat set.
The hosts couldn’t deal with the short kicking game of Fairhurst and Hewitt and the pressure of the chase led by the pack down the middle forced error after error which the Saints pounced on with glee. This win keeps the race for the title open and the Saints in with more than a shout.
Hull FC U19s:
Tries: Callum Lancaster 4.
Goals: Harry Tyson-Wilson 2.
Tries: David Eccleston, Matty Fleming 2, Jake Spedding, Lewis Galbraith, Lewis Charnock 2, André Savelio, Jonah Cunningham.
Goals: Lewis Charnock 4, Lewis Fairhurst, Dave Hewitt 2.
Half Time: 32-0
Full Time: 50-20
1. Josh Nicklin; 2. Josh Poskitt, 3. Tom Stark, 4. Jack Logan, 5. Callum Lancaster; 6. Harry Tyson-Wilson, 7. Reece Dean; 8. Masim Baashe-Matoongo, 9. Alex Sheperdson, 10. Bobby Tyson-Wilson, 11. Jansen Turgit, 12. Ash Bastiman, 13. Ryan Langton.
Subs: 14. Josh Wood, 15. Brad Spriggs, 16. Charlie Johnson, 17. Ryan Smith.
1. Ricky Bailey; 2. David Eccleston, 4. Matty Fleming, 3. Jake Spedding, 5. Lewis Galbraith; 6. Lewis Fairhurst, 7. Dave Hewitt; 8. Greg Richards, 9. Lewis Charnock, 10. Phil Atherton, 11. Olly Davies, 12. André Savelio, 13. Matty Fozard.
Subs: 14. Jonah Cunningham, 15. Morgan Knowles, 16. Liam Cooper, 17. Joe Ryan.