LUCTONIANS were narrowly beaten by a single point as Hull Ionians ran out 20-21 victors at Mortimer Park.

After an entertaining encounter between two evenly matched Lucs will reflect on a last minute kick from Tom Jones from halfway which fell just short of the posts.

The purists would have been intrigued with this match up as both teams were excellent in defence and the back lines struggled to gain any clear breaks which were few and far between.

But the workload and effort from both sets of forwards gave the large crowd a real chess match of a fixture.

Lewis Minikin kicked the away side in front after 26 minutes from a penalty with Tom Jones restoring parity four minutes later also from the tee.

When Ben Stephenson was driven for over Hull on 32 minutes, Minikin was again successful with the conversion and they looked good value for their lead.

But Hull were adjudged offside from the restart and Lucs took full advantage with a deep kick to touch from Jones and from the resulting line out drive the excellent blindside Sam Jones scrambled over, Jones converting to send the sides in 10 each at half time.

Ionians came out full of endeavour after oranges and Minikin was again accurate from the tee to restore the away side’s advantage from one penalty after 51 minutes.

But the game was level again only four minutes later when Jones again replied from a penalty in front of the posts following for a 13-13 score line.

However, the excellent Sam Pocklington at 9 for Ionians set up wing Nathan Hill who steamed through the back line at speed to dot down to put the away side in front just before the hour, Minikin missing the conversion, but he struck what turned out to be the decisive penalty and three points only minutes later when Lucs were again penalised at the scrum on 66 minutes.

Both sides continued to battle toe to toe and Lucs reduced the deficit on 72 minutes when Aiden Cheshire was driven over on his 100th Lucs first team appearance with Jones converting to pull the scores back to 20-21.

Chances for either side were at a premium and Lucs, when awarded the penalty at the death, took the option of the kick from on the half way line. But the wind which had favoured them in the second half failed to provide the extra gust required to clear the cross bar.