East of Hull 32-6 West of Hull
HULL'S very own version of the State of Origin match saw the select side from East of Hull take home the bragging rights.
The best players from the Hull & District League from both sides of the river squared off for the coveted Johnny Whiteley Trophy, with West of Hull going into the game boasting three consecutive wins in the showpiece clash.
Even a late change of venue from Craven Park to St Richard's could not dampen the enthusiasm of both teams and the hundreds who turned out for the game, which was sponsored by the Marfleet Labour Ward.
After a scrappy first 13 minutes in which both representative sides looked to get used to playing with many new faces, it was a hungry Easts side who went ahead and never relinquished their lead as they went on to win the trophy for the first time.
While evergreen forward Paul Oliver's infectious energy for the game seemed to rub off on his team-mates, it was the Bransholme Dales players on show who made all the difference.
Having completed a trebles of cup wins this season in the Hull League, the Dales players came into the match as the form men and it certainly showed.
With the likes of skipper Alex Moody, Lee Forth, Danny Stewart and Chris Rhodes dominating up front, it was left to half-back Craig Skelton to pull the strings as points came at will in the first half.
West of Hull were unable to get out of their own 20 in the opening period and the pressure they were put under soon told.
East Hull's Joe Hall got the ball rolling after scooting over from dummy half and five minutes later Bilton Sully's winger Dean Knaggs then intercepted a loose pass and raced in 30 metres to the right corner.
Skelton added both conversions for 12-0 and three minutes later, more good work from the impressive Forth allowed Knaggs to score his second try in the corner.
Easts' fourth try in 13 minutes then arrived when Forth deservedly went over from close range and when Dales team-mate Rhodes then came off the bench to run a fine angle to score to the left of the posts the score was 26-0.
The barrage of attacks continued straight after the interval as Forth powered his way down the middle and bounced off would-be tacklers to score his second.
However, the second half was overshadowed by the lengthy disruption in play caused by West Hull's Casey Carrigan dislocating his knee – with the game stopped while an ambulance was called.
On resumption, there was less tempo to the game as the gloomy skies fell over east Hull, although a bout of handbags did keep the crowd interested when both sets of players came together in what was an out-of-character moment in the clash.
For Wests, they did not go home empty handed, however, as young hooker darted over under the posts for their only try of the night late on, which was converted by Alec Hardy.