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Hull hold on
Black and Whites hold off Salford comeback
Hull FC held off a stirring comeback from the Salford City Reds to run out 34-26 winners at the KC Stadium.
Jordan Turner's late try for the Airlie Birds against his former club finally settled a game which hung in the balance after the Reds threatened to upset the hosts with two tries for Sean Gleeson and Ashley Gibson.
A missed Daniel Holdsworth conversion with 10 minutes remaining left Hull defending a slender two-point lead until Turner's late score gave the home side the two points which keeps them sixth in the table.
Salford have developed a successful habit of scoring early tries this year, but it was the hosts who raced into a 12-point lead thanks to the efforts of one of their rising stars.
Tom Lineham got his first taste of Super League in last Monday's televised Hull derby and, following his second-half cameo in the hostile environment of Craven Park, the 20-year-old revelled in being on home turf for the first time as he was handed a first start for the Black and Whites.
Within six minutes of kick-off, talk of Hull having found a new Tom Briscoe was already echoing around the KC as Lineham set Hull on their way with a well-taken first try before braking 60 metres down field to set up a second try of the afternoon for Hull, Kirk Yeaman this time the scorer.
Salford were shocked into life and, after being caught by their own game, the Reds came back into the match through Gibson's well-worked try in the corner.
The centre's pace and power took him over the try line and sparked a period of dominance by the visitors, who made their territorial possession count minutes later when Jodie Broughton avenged an earlier error to go over unopposed in the corner to complete a flowing move out wide.
Salford's moment in the sun did not last long, however, and Lineham again set Hull on their way. It was the winger's break which set up field position for Joe Westerman to break the Reds' defensive line and score.
Lineham completed a half to remember on the half-time hooter, leaving Broughton flat-footed as he dived over in the corner to give his side a 12-point half-time advantage.
The game became fractured in the second half, but Hull took the opportunity to go three tries clear with a simple penalty conversion for on-loan St Helens winger Jamie Foster.
That decision looked even wiser when Gleeson, who next year will wear the red and white of Hull KR, exploited poor Hull defending to score approaching the final quarter.
The Reds sensed a comeback and it looked on when they capitalised on Hull's ill discipline through a second try for Gibson.
Holdsworth's missed conversion left Salford four points behind, but the visitors remained on top.
Hull were then thankful when another Salford infringement, this time for holding down, allowed Foster to kick a penalty from in front of the posts.
The Reds continued to press, and got their rewards when Gleeson touched down by the corner flag on the break. Holdsworth had a chance to level the game but hooked his touchline conversion as Hull breathed a sigh of relief.
The visitors continued to mount a serious challenge but with the clock ticking down, ex-Salford player Turner popped up five metres out to take an off-load and seal the points for Hull.
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First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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