PLYMOUTH ALBION 7 HULL IONIANS 17
ALBION’S winning run was brought to an end at a wet and muddy Brickfields on Saturday by Hull Ionians.
Graham Dawe’s young side had won their last five matches, including beating Hartpury College and Rosslyn Park away, but in difficult conditions they were not able to make it six in a row.
Hull, who had beaten Albion in East Yorkshire at the start of the season, scored all their points in the first half to lead 17-0 at the break.
That was tough on Plymouth, who had dominated territory and possession but who could not make it tell.
Hull, in contrast, were very clinical, taking all their chances in the opening 40 minutes. They played the tough conditions well.
Albion did get a try two-thirds of the way through the second half when replacement lock Dan Collier sneaked over from close range for his first of the season, but, with the pitch cutting up badly by then, they were unable to add to it.
Plymouth now have to pick themselves up for a long trip to Fylde next weekend.
Hull went in front in the fourth minute when they were awarded a five-metre line-out that Albion thought was going to be theirs.
From the set-piece Hull lock Joe Makin drove over and Isaac Green converted.
Albion then had a great chance to level but were stopped right on the line by some good defence by the visitors.
Not taking that opportunity proved costly for Albion as Ionians added a second try on 14 minutes when another cleaver kick saw Quile Smith win the race to touch the ball down and make it 12-0.
Albion then dominated the next 15 minutes and Searle came within inches of reducing the gap when he hit the post with a penalty.
Hull had limited ball in Albion’s half but they got a third try after another good kick to the corner forced the home side to give away a line-out. Although Albion stopped the initial drive, Hull recycled and experienced number eight Phil Eggleshaw got the ball down to make it 17-0.
Albion should have scored just before the break. They were awarded a penalty at a five-metre scrum. The referee initially played advantage and it looked like Plymouth might score but Green stopped them illegally. However, the referee just went back to the initial penalty. Plymouth opted for another scrum that was reset three times before eventually Albion went wide and lost the ball.
Hull had a good chance at the start of the second period but they were penalised for a double movement.
Albion then had a really good spell but could not score. They could not have been closer midway through the half but Hull once again stopped them right on the line.
Eventually the try they threatened came when Collier went over after Albion pushed Hull off a scrum.
Albion did scrum well all game, but it was not enough to get them a win.
Disappointingly they were also unable to even get a bonus point in a real mud bath at Brickfields.
Albion: Ethan Ford, Seti Raumakita, Tom Bedford, Marc Koteczky, Harrison Cully, Billy Searle, Matt Shepherd, Ollie Dawe, Rupert Freestone, Christian Judge, Ed Holmes, Nile Dacres, Jarrad Hayler, Sam Matavesi, Herbie Stupple (capt). Reps: Dan Pullinger, Dan Collier, Gregory Sebastien, Jake Murphy, Cameron Setter.
Hull Ionians: Michael Bateman, Stephen Slingsby, Joel Gill, Joe Allott, Aquile Smith, James Ferguson, Isaac Green, David Laverick, Alistair Thomson, Stephen Johnson, Joe Makin, Dan Paul, Joe Sanders, Ed Falkingham, Phil Eggleshaw. Reps: Steve Quigley, Richard Stout, Josh Redfern, Gregory Lound, Sam Wilson.
Referee: Shane Lewis (RFU)
Scorers: Albion: Try: Collier; Con: Shepherd
Hull: Tries: Makin, Smith, Eggleshaw; Con: Green
Pictures courtesy of Sean Hernon/Pinnacle