It was late heartbreak yet again for Wakefield, as Marc Sneyd’s 75th minute drop-goal sealed a hard-earned win for Hull, who now move into third place. While Sneyd kicked the crucial point, Gareth Ellis was the man of the moment, scoring a late try to give his side the lead and inspire them to the three points in his last home appearance for the Black and Whites.
Ellis made his debut for Wakefield 18 years ago this weekend and could, ironically, have played a major part in them missing out on the playoffs this year, as they wait to see the result of Wigan’s clash with Castleford on Sunday.
Both Trinity and FC started Thursday’s game strongly and weren’t afraid to shift the ball about. Hull were denied on the first set by a Marc Sneyd forward pass, before Joe Arundel went close for the visitors just moments later.
Despite their opponents’ early threat, Wakefield managed to get a grip of the game, forcing two consecutive goal-line dropouts before eventually converting the pressure on 10 minutes. Ben Jones-Bishop batted Liam Finn’s kick back to Arundel, who snuck in in the corner after his near miss minutes earlier.
The Trinity pressure didn’t stop and Hull were rattled, so it was no surprise when their second try came 10 minutes later. Liam Finn’s grubber looked to be skidding out of play, but Jacob Miller didn’t give up on it and just managed to touch down before the dead-ball line. Finn managed to convert, making it 10-0 to Trinity after the first quarter.
With their opponents in white hot form, a penalty against Danny Kirmond gave the Black and Whites some much-needed respite and a chance to attack for themselves. The Sneyd-Mahe combination has tormented defences all year and it once again proved to be decisive as Hull cut the defecit to just four points. Sneyd hoisted it high and wide for the big Tongan winger to get above Mason Caton-Brown and power over.
Wakefield seemed to dominate for the rest of the half, coming close on numerous occasions, while their opponents struggled to keep hold of the ball. Trinity eventually had to settle for a penalty goal for a professional foul, which saw Jamie Shaul sin-binned in the process. Finn stepped up to kick his second goal of the night to give his side a 12-6 lead at the break after an action-packed half.
There was tense atmosphere as the teams came out for the second half, with both sides’ playoff hopes hanging in the balance. Hull were still trailing and playing with 12 men, while Wakefield were up against an FC side who can change their game at the drop of a hat.
Despite being down a man, it was the Black and Whites who scored the halves first points, ironically through the man standing in for Shaul. Marc Sneyd pushed past Liam Finn, rounded the fullback and managed to wrestle his way to the line, despite the best efforts of Caton-Brown. The halfback converted his own try to level the scores with half-an-hour to go.
The momentum had completely reversed from the first half, with Hull piling pressure on the Trinity line. They almost took a six-point lead through Danny Washbrook, only for the video referee to rule it out due to obstruction in the build-up.
They looked to have settled for a two-point lead when Phil Bentham gave a controversial penalty for an alleged late tackle on Albert Kelly. Sneyd, however, could only push it wide much to the delight of the travelling Trinity faithful.
Their joy was short-lived, however, as Ellis took centre stage on 70 minutes. A short ball from Danny Houghton found the former Trinity man, who muscled his way over from 5m out. Sneyd was successful again with the conversion, making it 18-12 and setting up an exciting last 10.
The maverick halfback then looked to secure the game, kicking a superb drop-goal to give FC a seven-point cushion.
Trinity refused to give up, however, and set up a grandstand finish with two minutes to go when Mason Caton-Brown went over in the corner. Finn converted to put his side within a point.
Some strong drives saw Wakefield reach the Black and Whites’ line, with Liam Finn readying himself for a drop-goal attempt. He hit it well, but just pulled it wide of the post with seconds to go, giving Hull the win.
Referee: Phil Bentham
Scoring Sequence: 0-4, 0-10, 6-10, 6-12, 12-12, 18-12, 19-12, 19-18