Selby RUFC 17 - 14 Hullensians RUFC
Selby eventually run out as winners after a tight and tense battle.
Selby RUFC 17 – 14 Hullensians RUFC
Report by Ian Marlow
Selby and Hullensians got it on for the second time this season at Sandhill Lane after the first match was abandoned at half time due to a referee injury and, after all necessary personnel had managed to make it through the full eighty minutes this time, the Swans left it late to eventually run out as worthy winners after a tight and tense battle.
A month can be a long time in rugby and this has evidently been the case with Hullensians as, due to a very recent influx of new recruits from the Hull and Hull Ionians clubs, they returned with not only a lot of unrecognisable faces but also an unrecognisably better standard of play than their earlier forty minutes display and current bottom-of-the-league position indicated. After Selby’s customary gift to their visitors (we really must stop being so generous!) of a couple of unnecessary penalties giving them prime field position, the Hullensians camped on Selby’s line with only some desperate defending keeping them out. Indeed, they appeared to have one perfectly legitimate try as well as another likely try not given in short succession as their forwards drove over before they obviously tired of the referee’s uncharitability and expertly span it wide for their speedy and Dennis Wise impersonating winger, Josh Langford, to race in at the corner for a 0-7 lead.
Although Selby’s forwards started to get on top at scrum time, Hullensians continued to hold the upper hand with a much snappier back line and even the loss of their fly half playmaker for ten minutes to the sin bin didn’t seem to adversely impact them as the Swans backs failed to build on any of the good possession being provided up front. Eventually though, and strangely as the weather worsened, Selby’s ball control started to improve and following a couple of unsuccessful practice attempts the pack again piled over for No 8 Sam Broughton to claim the score for 5-7. However, Selby’s recurrent poor kick off receipt play showed up yet again as they mucked about with the ball instead of clearing their lines allowing Hullensians another easy field position to attack from. And, after another Hull forward drive for the line was brilliantly disrupted by replacement hooker James Dentith, Selby went into full shoot-yourself-in-the foot mode as from their resultant penalty award they inexplicably contrived to give the line out throw to Hullensians - who this time made no mistake as they drove over for Aaron Smith to claim the try leaving the half time score as 5-14.
With the breeze and even sun at their backs in the second half and with their scrum now in total control Selby had a surfeit of good ball but play largely became bogged down in midfield as the Humbersiders defended resolutely, and with not too much apparent difficulty. Finally though, with it looking like time was running out for Selby, the pack came to the rescue yet again as, after turning down a couple of kickable penalties, they camped on the visitors line before Liam Hogan capped another impressive performance by barging over to cut the deficit to 12-14. The Selby backs then decided they had had enough of the forwards stealing the glory and put on a show of their own as they firstly escaped up the right wing and then, after it must be said butchering the 2 v 1 for an easy try, spread the ball wide for replacement centre Olly Turvey to deliver a perfectly weighted grubber kick into the dead ball area for flying wingman Ash Dallimore to beat everyone to the touch down for the winning score.
Selby next travel to Keighley who have a new 4G pitch which is very conducive to fast, open, running rugby and the Swans will be hoping for a more coherent display from both backs and forwards for what is an eminently winnable game. Also, not leaving it until the dying minutes to win the match would be much appreciated by the supporters.