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Saints snatch late draw
Black and Whites held at home by St Helens
Tom Makinson's late-minute penalty earned St Helens a share of the spoils in an 18-18 draw against Hull FC at the KC Stadium.
It was the second time in two weeks the Black and Whites suffered late heartache following their defeat to city rivals Hull KR in the Magic Weekend in Manchester.
A robust defensive performance by St Helens looked to be sending them home victorious after tries for Adam Swift, Lance Hohaia and Jon Wilkin, but Danny Tickle's late try and penalty gave Hull a narrow lead following scores for Richard Whiting and Richard Horne.
Leading for the first time late on, Hull thought they had done enough until a penalty with 90 seconds remaining handed their visitors a chance to level the scores.
There was nothing to split the sides in the opening quarter with both defences forcing errors from their opponents, while the torrential rain suggested chances would be at a premium.
St Helens took full advantage of a penalty to break the deadlock when Hohaia's long pass out wide found young winger Swift. With a clear path to the try line Swift took his chance and by the time Hull had chance to question the holes in their defence, Hohaia had crossed for Saints' second try of the match.
Defensive resolve had given way to attacking prowess and next it was Hull's chance to impress, Whiting finishing a flowing move out wide orchestrated by half-backs Brett Seymour and Richard Horne.
The try swung the territorial advantage in Hull's favour, but importantly it was Saints who maintained their advantage on the scoreboard at the interval, helped by some fine tackling that kept out a string of Hull players.
Having shipped 42 points against great rivals Wigan last time out, Saints had spent the week working on their defence and had it to thank for withstanding a barrage of Hull attacks at the start of the second half.
Following five repeat sets within sight of the try line, Hull did eventually find a way through thanks to Horne's scrappy score, but Saints soon restored their six-point advantage when Hull-born forward Wilkin took Jonny Lomax's pass.
Hull were dictating proceedings, though, and while their opponents had snatched a try against the run of play, the hosts soon continued their assault.
Led by England Knights hooker Danny Houghton, Hull threw everything at their opponents and were level when Tickle converted his own try in the corner, setting up a grandstand finish.
Saints' ill-discipline then handed Tickle a chance to convert a penalty which gave Hull the lead for the first time as the clock ticked down to a tense conclusion.
With the agony of their last-minute derby defeat to Hull KR still fresh in the memory, Hull's defence frantically scrambled for every tackle.
Yet with time nearly up Saints were awarded a penalty in front of the posts, Makinson knocking it over to make sure the sides shared the spoils for the second successive season at the KC Stadium.
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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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