Another emotional evening graced the KC Stadium as Hull FC and reigning Super League champions St. Helens battled it out for two vital points in the race for the top 8 but, once again, the whole evening belonged to the legacy left by the great Steve Prescott MBE who represented both these sides in a glittering career.
The game was given a fitting start as Steve’s sons brought the Steve Prescott Cup on the pitch and received a standing ovation from everybody present.
The first territorial advantage went to the champions as Kirk Yeaman knocked on inside his own half but Hull’s scrambling defence held them at bay after the ensuing scrum.
The game soon developed into an arm wrestle as both sides went to and fro from end to end but with no real breakthrough coming despite the free-flowing nature of the proceedings.
The first try came in the 20th minute after the home side made a hash of clearing up a rushed kick and former Hull player Shannon McDonnell pounced to cross, the conversion from Lewis Charnock gave the visitors a 0-6 lead.
A mistake by Jordan Rankin dropping the ball under no pressure 15 meters from his own line gave Saints a scrum and chance to attack which led to a harsh penalty which was kicked by Charnock in the 25th minute to give them a two score lead.
After that another dropped ball, this time by Fetuli Talanoa gave the visitors another scrum on the Hull line but a dropped ball by them eventually gave possession back to the black and white’s.
However Hull seemed to be on a mission to give Saints as much possession as possible when Yeaman again knocked on in his own half.
Once again after some fractious play the early arm wrestle developed again until a penalty to the home side led to some sustained pressure and former Saints man Leon Pryce eventually went through a big gap in the champions defence to bring his side back into the game, Marc Sneyd added the conversion to bring the score back to 6-8 in the 37th minute.
An early mistake in the second half by Hull led to some sustained pressure on their line but again the defence was very well organised and withstood two sets without conceding.
Eventually a high tackle from the home side led to a penalty and, uncharacteristically, Saints went for the kick and Charnock duly obliged to make it 6-10 in the 45th minute.
A penalty to Hull gave them some pressure on the Saints line, this was immediately followed by a scrum on the 10 meter line as Saints knocked on but despite sustained pressure the champions held firm until another knock on gave them a relieving scrum and chance to get away from their line.
Another penalty to the champions was spurned as Charnock slipped as he pulled the trigger and hooked the ball badly.
Eventually in the 57th minute some more pressure pushed the visitors defence too far and teenager Jordan Abdull forced his way over in the left corner, Sneyd missed the touchline conversion to leave the scores level as the game headed into the final quarter.
Hull were starting to take control and started throwing the ball around like in the previous two weeks and were asking plenty of questions of the visitors defence.
However a rare attack by the Saints saw a try scored by Tommy Makinson to regain the lead for them in the 62nd minute, the winger then added the touchline conversion to stretch the lead to 10-16.
Once again the arm wrestle took hold of the game again as it moved into the final 10 minutes until another Hull attack led to a try claim which was harshly disallowed by referee Matt Thomason.
Shortly after that moment another Hull ensued as they were given a penalty on the Saints 10 meter line but an organised defence held them out until another knock on by Talanoa relieved the pressure with little over five minutes to go.
After a shocking decision by referee Thomason not to give a scrum after a clear knock on by St. Helens they went straight down-field and former Hull player Jordan Turner secured the points with a drop goal in the 80th minute.
Penalties Hull 5 St. Helens 4
Goal Line Drop Outs Hull 1 St. Helens 0
Man of the Match Mark Minichiello