Hull FC 35-32 Salford Red Devils: 11-man hosts hold on for win
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 07/06/19 11:34pm
Josh Griffin was sent off and prop Chris Green sin-binned as Hull FC held onto a 35-32 victory at home to Salford Red Devils with just 11 men.
Former Red Devils centre Griffin was red carded by referee Liam Moore for a dangerous tackle, while team-mate Green and Salford's Adam Walker were sin-binned in a frantic final 10 minutes.
Winger Jake Bibby touched down twice as Salford made the most of their one-man advantage to complete his hat-trick.
But Lee Radford's side, leading 35-22 prior to the late flashpoints, held on for victory. They were certainly in cruise control as half-back Albert Kelly touched down twice on his 150th career appearance put them on the way to victory.
Kelly's double came in a contest of 10 tries which saw the Black and Whites draw level on points with third-placed Catalans Dragons.
There was a moving moment prior to kick-off as Steph Gaunt, girlfriend of former Hull FC and Salford forward Jansin Turgut, delivered the match ball.
Turgut remains hospitalised in Ibiza but has successfully undergone several operations after falling from the third floor of a car park on the Balearic Island last month.
Gaunt also received an emotional hug from Salford half-back Jackson Hastings, who had also presented his Magic Weekend shirt towards the fighting fund for Turgut's medical bills.
It proved the prelude to an explosive opening period as the sides scored at a point a minute.
Hull's contribution was five tries, including two from Kelly, plus other efforts from Jake Connor, Mark Minichiello and Jamie Shaul.
Former Salford half-back Marc Sneyd added four goals but also missed two further shots at goal plus a single point attempt.
Despite being three scores adrift, Salford's plight could have been worse. They trailed 18-0 before substitute Pauli Pauli crashed over and then Wigan-bound Jake Bibby produced an aerial finish with Hull 24-12 in front.
But every time they gained a foothold, Hull punished weak tackling, doing so for the fifth time through full-back Shaul six minutes from the interval.
Salford, beaten 23-16 by the Black and Whites at the AJ Bell Stadium back in April, gave themselves a glimmer of hope when Robert Lui powered over soon after the restart.
Hull have form for cracking under pressure this year, conceding 50-plus points on three occasions, including a 55-2 Magic Weekend drubbing by Huddersfield in their last Super League outing.
This time there was no repeat collapse and the next point came from Sneyd's 63rd-minute drop-goal, leaving Salford three scores adrift.
Three minutes later Fijian winger Ratu Naulago appeared to put the result beyond doubt with his seventh try in his debut season.
But Salford were not finished as they managed a fourth try and a second of the night from on-loan Wakefield forward, Pauli Pauli.
Green and Walker then saw yellow for a bust-up before Griffin's red card threw the result into doubt until the final seconds.