Salford Red Devils 35
Tries: Chase, Caton-Brown (2), J Griffin, D Griffin, Johnson
Goals: Griffin (4)
Field Goals: Chase
Hull FC 22
Tries: Hadley, Yeaman (2), Shaul
Goals: Rankin (3)
Field Goals: nil
Late fightback too late for Hull
Hull have a very tough run in having to play 5 of the current top 6 plus a derby game.
Salford who face Hull KR next week followed by Leeds, Wigan and Catalan before Catalan, Wakefield, London (who will be relegated should they fail to beat the Warrington Wolves) and finishing with a home date against Widnes Vikings.
Tonight’s match was brought forward because of an air show at the Barton aerodrome across the road that was due to take place at the same time and the local authorities were worried about crowd congestion.
It’s fair to say after last week’s win, the Salford fans were expecting another victory, but with Kevin Locke missing with a groin injury, his home debut will have to wait However, and Mason Caton-Brown did take his home bow at centre.
Hull had hat-trick player Callum Lancaster on the wing and were looking for another electrifying performance from the young player.
I have to say, I arrived nice and early for the game and have never seen a chairman mobbed for autographs and photos the way I saw the outspoken Salford chair, Dr Marwan Koukash. It took him at least 15 minutes to make his way from his car to the front door of the stadium, and not just Salford fans. Remember, this is the man who has a horse named after Hull legend Steve Prescott, so fans of both sides were keen to have that selfie taken with the man whose self stated aim is to turn Salford into a club that not only contends for silverware, but wins it on a regular basis.
The Arlie birds kicked off and Salford gifted a set to Hull inside their own 20 with a knock on. Some Smart passing almost saw Richard Horne in for the opening points after 3 minutes, but a foot in touch put paid to that and Salford were lucky to escape.
The opening 15 minutes are error strewn as both sides look to cope with the weather that had gone from a balmy 23 at lunch to a chilly 12 and rain. At one point we had Kirk Yeaman and Junior Sa’u discussing the finer points of tackle etiquette and it looked like tempers were going to boil over early on.
Then, after 16 minutes, Rangi Chase intercepts and races 80m to score the opening points of the game. Josh Griffin adds the extras and the Salford crowd are once again blown away by the little man’s vision.
The crowd are on their feet again after 22 minutes, but for a very different reason. A clothesline tackle by Green on Sa’u leaves the crowd wondering what constitutes a sin binning. After the resultant penalty, some decent pressure from the home side sees Mason Caton brown make a dream home debut with a close range effort that saw the Hull defense flat footed. Conversion Missed by Josh Griffin. 10-0 Salford and it’s beginning to look a little too easy in places for Salford to outwit the visitors defense. Five minutes later and it’s Salford who are dropping out from under the sticks after a couple of decent sets from Hull, only for them to pass the ball out of play after just one tackle. There looks to be a bit of panic in the Hull offense at the moment as they try to make things happen that just aren’t there.
After some decent build up play from Salford, a dink into the in-goal area runs out and Hull are quick to take the tap and make it to the half way point before knocking on.
On the half hour mark another holding down offence and Salford are being gifted metres by Hull, however a break in play allows everyone to catch their breath as Rankin is treat in back play for a head injury. Rightly, the ref is taking his time and making certain the player is sorted before play continues.
After 34 minutes a great run from Johnson, Hull are penalised for holding down at the play of the ball and handbags are thrown, leaving Mr Thomason no choice but to give Salford a penalty and as the rain is really starting to come down, Salford elect to take the two points. J. Griffin slots over to make it 12-0.
Then, bang on the hooter, Chase hits a cheeky drop goal from forty metres to make it 13-0 at the break!
The second stanza saw Chase start us off in a downpour that is now intermittent, but still quite heavy. After just a couple of minutes, Hull have both Richard Horne and Aaron Heremaia needing treatment, but both are able to carry on.
The half is only six minutes old when Jordan Rankin is penalised for a professional foul and leaves the referee no option but to yellow card him and leave Hull with twelve men.
Three minutes later and Hull have forced Salford to play out from their own line! A great break by Hock followed by a grubber from Chase & Hull are once again dropping out from under their own posts
This time Salford make the pressure pay and go over in the form of Josh Griffin. The extra man beginning to tell here now. Griffin converts his own try to make it 19-0.
Hull however are beginning to look dangerous with Salford extra man not really having much of an effect, and after sixteen minutes Hull strike at last! Dean Hadley close to the posts gives the black and white fans a faint glimmer of a comeback, Westerman puts the conversion wide & its 19-4 with just over half of the forty remaining
Just two minutes later and Yeaman goes over out on the left and Rankin converts and its 19-10. GAME ON!
Hull are really gaining in confidence and a penalty for holding down gifts them a set from the 10m, but as Lineham goes over, he’s put a foot on the whitewash & Salford breath again.
With under a quarter of an hour left, Johnson stretches Salford’s lead and with the conversion missed, it’s 23-10.
Dr Koukash is prowling the touchline like a caged panther as he waits for the clock to count down to what he hopes will be back to back victories for the Red Devils. It’s refreshing to see a chairman so invested in his players and staff.
Into the last ten and Salford score again, Daryl Griffin this time, coverted by his brother Josh, its 29-10 with just 9 minutes left.
Hull are not out of this yet. Yeaman scores with 8.30 on the clock and a conversion by Rankin makes it 29-16.
WHAT A TRY!!! Length of the field by Shaul & conv by Rankin leave it 29-22 with 6 to play…FC believe they can pinch this.
It’s a grandstand finish and a race to the winning post as both teams look to see who will blink and its Hull who do with a high shot on Johnson giving Salford field position. Just two left & Salford force another drop out. That one pointer by Chase on the half time hooter could well be the difference if Hull keep up the attacking play that has dragged them back into this game.
Under two minutes left and Hull restart on Salfords 20m line, but with just 44 seconds left, Mason Caton-Brown caps a memorable home debut going over from 40m out for his second and with Chase converting after the hooter, we finished 35-22.
Salford coach Iestyn Harris: “Firstly, I’m delighted with the win. “We’re building a reputation here as a physical team that is prepared to work for each other and I thought for 50 minutes we improved that reputation. “But the last 30 minutes wasn’t good enough for us. We fell in love with ourselves a little bit and started to cut a few corners, which is not acceptable. We’ve lost an opportunity here.
“We’re all desperate to get into the play-offs but we’re seven games away from that.”
Hull FC coach Lee Radford: “I’m used to the frustration. It’s the same every week. We have a dig but unfortunately we’re not quite there. We need to turn these battling performances into a result.
“They had a real physical period in the first half. They are aggressive in what they do, sitting ball players on their arses, and they got away with a lot. There were some positives out there. “We had 10 kids out there who have come through the youth structure and that’s pleasing. It’s a great learning curve for them and I’m sure will gain from the experience.”