Hulland bows out as Luctonians sign off with a win

Luctonians captain Paul Hulland makes a break from the scrum against Hull Ionians ENDS 114434-1 (5747299)

Luctonians Paul Hulland makes a break. ENDS 114434-5 (5747344)

Luctonians Paul Hulland on the attack. ENDS 114631-5 (5747355)

First published in Sport

Hull 28 pts Luctonians 37

LUCTONIANS stalwart Paul Hulland bowed out with a final-day victory as Luctonians sealed 10th place in National Two North.

The veteran flanker has decided to call time on his Mortimer Park career after a glittering spell of service.

"We have to thank him for all he has done for the club," said director of rugby Alex Davidson. "Few have the stature to do what he has done.

"He showed some emotion at the end of the match - I think he has found it difficult physically this season and he's scored six tries when usually he has scored 17 or 18."

Davidson admitted that he had been hoping to finish higher than the 10th place finally achieved.

"We went into the season aiming for the top six and we thought that was achievable," he said.

"And with a couple of the games that we threw away - notably Otley at home - we could have been there."

After a long journey requiring a 7.30am start from Kingsland, Luctonians were quickly on the board with tries from Drew Cheshire and the outstanding Jimmy Norris, who had his best game for the club in Davidson's opinion, inside the first 11 minutes.

Drew Talbot also cross before the break with his and Norris' try converted by Tom Jones, but two Hull tries kept the score at 19-10 at the turnaround.

Adam Knight's try extended the lead early in the second period but Hull came right back into the game with three scores before Dan Smith and Norris went over for tries, both converted by Jones, to seal the win and leave Davidson satisfied.

"Our defence had let us down in one or two games recently but that was much improved," he said.

"We asked the players to dig deep for one last time and that is what we did and the result justified the faith we have put in our younger players.

"David Forster did well and Tom Jones, who had some stick at Sedgley Park, got in a great first tackle to open proceedings.

"It was a good win - you are only as good as the last game in your memory and so this will get us through the summer."

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