Hull Ionians 59 v 10 South Leicester
By Malcolm Knowles
Irrepressible I's over-run luckless Leicester.
Hull Ionians 59 v 10 South Leicester.
Star man – Brad Willingham
Hull Ionians won this re-arranged fixture at a canter, scoring 9 tries in all, with hat trick performances from both prop Ben Bell and full-back Lewis Minikin. South Leicester scored their solitary effort with the final play of the game, no sort of a consolation for a second half display which saw them virtually disintegrate against the pace and power of the home team.
Ionians opened the scoring in the second minute of the match with a successful catch and drive, crossing with consummate ease to go 5 – 0 in front. They then rested on their laurels to allow Leicester to gather momentum, with robust centre Sam McNulty causing some concern. Much of the visitors movement was lateral, but this kept Ionians within their own half and when Ionians were penalised at a scrum South Leicester took an easy pot at goal to reduce the deficit.
Ionians got back into their stride, but much their enterprise was wasted by conceding senseless penalties.
Ionians extended the lead on 24 minutes. James Tinknell broke away, scything through midfield, to allow the hosts to work the ball close to the Leicester line and Ben Bell was over from a pick and drive.
From the re-start fly-half Tom Stephenson ghosted through the defensive line and once he had drawn the cover delivered a perfect pass to Minikin who raced away to score. The goal pushed the score to 17 – 3.
Ionians weren’t finished and Bell added his second try in copybook fashion and a well struck kick from Minikin took the sides to the break with the hosts 24 – 3 to the good.
Ionians made a slow start to the second half but once the midlands side began to tire Ionians took them to the cleaners, adding five tries in a little over a quarter hour, with South Leicester left chasing shadows.
Bell completed his hat trick with another short range effort before James Sanderson finished off a free flowing move when he was alert to a loose ball to pounce and dive over.
Minikin then grabbed two tries in quick succession to complete his treble. Again, he was grateful to a break from Tom Stephenson to give him a clear run in before having to work harder to claim the second, brushing aside attempted tacklers before showing clean heels to all as he raced clear.
Ionians left the best until last, Tinknell finishing a free flowing move involving excellent interplay and handling to push the score close to 60 points. Leicester revived sufficiently when in possession late in the game to fashion a score from veteran Wes Cope, but it put no real gloss on a very one sided second half.
Results elsewhere went Ionians’ way, with Huddersfield and Chester both beaten. This makes next week’s fixture at Lockwood Park a real ten pointer. Those of a delicate disposition are advised to avoid the grass bank and take refuge in the stand, it is likely to be lively both on and off the field. See you there.