Luctonians beat Hull in National Two North to mark opening of new grandstand in fine style (From Hereford Times)
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Luctonians beat Hull in National Two North to mark opening of new grandstand in fine style
LUCTONIANS’ new skipper Jimmy Norris admitted a grandstand finish could not have been more appropriate – on a pulsating afternoon at Mortimer Park.
The injured Norris was watching from the technical area as the big crowd held their breath before Paul Hulland crashed over for a converted try in the final play of the match.
Hull’s Ollie Cook was yellow-carded for a deliberate offside offence in a dramatic finish as Luctonians pounded their way towards the line in National League Two North.
Referee Matthew O’Grady added to the tension – speaking to both his assistants before finally awarding Hulland’s try – and then John Morris slotted the subsequent conversion to spark some jubilant scenes.
Head coach Stuart Bemand and director of rugby Alex Davidson were at a wedding in Kingsland but probably would have heard the roar.
But moments earlier, Hull looked set to spoil Luctonians’ day when Jamie Clark’s try and James Cameron’s touchline conversion had put the visitors 27-22 ahead with two minutes remaining.
Norris, who was injured in scoring a first-half try, said: “For the lads to come away with a win after falling behind so late in the match against a good Hull side was a superb achievement.
“And with the new grandstand being opened just before the kick-off, the last-gasp win was for all those people who gave so much to make that development happen.”
And former captain Hulland said: “We got a penalty in Hull’s 22 but we knew that there was not enough time to kick the ball in to touch so we had to get the try.
“We put together more than 10 phases and then I definitely got the ball down. “I knew I grounded it and I thought the referee had given the try until I looked around and saw he had called a time-out.”
Luctonians fell behind to Ben Dorrington’ s early try but hit back to lead 14-5 after 15 minutes after converted scores from Alex Rumsey and Norris.
Rumsey darted over in the corner after collecting a neat chip through and Norris broke through a couple of tackled to touch down.
Hull replied strongly in the second part of the opening half and took a 20-14 advantage in to the break.
Cameron kicked a penalty, Dorrington bagged his second try from close-range and then, on the stroke of half-time, the visitors were awarded a penalty try, which they converted, after Luctonians had deliberately brought down a driving maul.
Luctonians cut the deficit to just one point in the 48th minute when they won turn-over ball in midfield and Geraint Langdon’s bustling run set up Rumsey to touch down.
The home team dominated possession and territory and eventually went 22-20 ahead with just six minutes remaining when Morris kept his nerve to kick a penalty.
But the home team let down their guard and a well-worked 78th-minute try for Clark in the right-hand corner appeared to have won the match for Hull until Luctonians, led by an impressive display from scrum-half Nathan Roy-Smith, fought back.
Captain Norris: “The final try was a team effort and for me, as captain in my first competitive match, the victory means a heck of a lot. “The pressure was building towards this game and, thankfully, we won.”
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