The Dentist’s Diary – 501st

So the moment of truth is upon us!


There it is, scary innit!!!

A great win at Salford marked five years since Adam Pearson bought Hull FC and well done to him, for he stuck at it with Lee when some of us doubted he should have done so and now no one would begrudge him a little gloat about the position the club finds itself in. For our owner it’s been 5 years of shelling out, heartbreak and at times disillusionment, but it all came good in the end! Thanks for everything Adam, and here’s to the next five years!

So, that dedication and financial support from our owner sees our beloved Hull FC going into the Super 8’s top of the league and well done to Adam, Lee and everyone concerned. However for now this Friday’s match is the only thing on all our minds!

It’s a massive moment in our season but at least the boys have ‘risen to it’ on every big occasion thus far; away and at home (twice) to Catalan, at Wigan, Warrington and Saints (twice) whilst we’ve also scalped the Dobbins on 4 occasions too, but this is different, this is the season defining game! It’s a massive match and a real ‘nerve-shredder’ for yours truly, as in 80 minutes on Friday our heroes mustn’t freeze or indeed hesitate to grab their chance and seize the day. In many ways it is the moment of truth when all the team spirit, zeal and enthusiasm is right on the line and our destiny is firmly in our own hands!

Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 501st

The 500th Dentist’s Diary


2016 Hull FC 4 Dobbins 0

“Defeat, falling on your face and your arse are the only things that really teach you how to win!”

That quote from Kevin Spacey was used as the final words of an Andy Murray documentary two years ago and was all about searching your soul, digging deep and using past adversities to strain every sinew and get a result which, as they say, gets you ‘back on the horse’!

That’s what good sportsmen and good teams do and that’s what we did last Thursday! Now that display must be the vehicle which takes us onto that semi final in two weeks time. However for now I’m still basking in the afterglow of a great win because like most of you reading this I really don’t like Rovers at all and so it was a great night to be an FC fan.

We’ve done the Derby business this year now, we’re the best and as the chant at the end of the game went; the City is indeed ours. We’re the top dogs in Hull and Rovers are down in the middle 8’s again but, as I say, it might have been their ‘Cup Final’ but now we have to move on, we have bigger fish to fry, that match against Wigan is looming and it’s the game of the season thus far. However for now, let’s be content in the fact that what we witnessed on Thursday was a fabulous show of strength, power and a real lesson in how to bully a team into submission and then take them apart; so well done to everyone involved.

That aside, this is, the 500th Diary’s and after 11 years of this rubbish perhaps this week I’m allowed at least a bit of self indulgence!!! This edition is different in that there’s a lot about what’s behind this weekly stuff and indeed you’ll find for a change some reflections from yours truly, some home truths, a bit of looking back and a couple of things that have happened along the way that I’ve never told anyone about, before today. Plus throughout, there a just a few of my favourite pictures from the last decade of this rubbish!

Continue reading The 500th Dentist’s Diary

The Dentist’s Diary – 499th

Don’t you just love Leeds? They save their best two performances of the year to beat us!! Friday night was certainly disappointing and although the wheel hasn’t exactly come off just yet, something or somebody has certainly started to loosen the wheel nuts a bit!!

Last week Lee Radford made a slightly facetious point directed at us lot, when he said that when you’re a Hull fan, “You lose two games and it’s a crisis”, however although not a crisis by any means, what transpired in that last ten minutes against what is becoming our bogy team, does mean that our luck with injuries and the bounce of the ball has perhaps finally run out. Plus it would also appear that (looking at the Saints, Warrington and Wigan results) the possible inability of the team to peak at the right time of the season is starting to increasingly come into the machinations of the fans on the terraces.

There was no shortage of effort or indeed tenacity on Friday and in the cold light of day looking back, there was a lot of bad luck involved too. In fact some absolutely amazing goal line defence probably warranted a bigger return for our efforts than we actually got, but surrendering too much ground to the Leeds forwards throughout, an inability to hang onto the ball in our own half and a lop-sided attack following the loss of Tumavave all transpired to ‘do’ for us and it was in the end, very much ‘as you were’ and back to some of the failing of last season. We have to lose some games, everyone does and we are still very well placed in the league, but the good teams rarely lose two games on the trot at this time of the year, particularly against the bottom two teams in the competition and with so many battered bodies, injuries and a short turn round, it’s hard to see how we aren’t going to struggle next Thursday as well. Perhaps it’s time to look at the bigger picture and only play players that are fit, whoever they are, rather than getting players who ain’t fit somehow onto the field for the Derby!!

Wigan has to be targeted as the big one now, but whatever approach we take, I honestly believe for the first time for ages, there are perhaps some tough times ahead!!

Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 499th

The Dentist’s Diary – 498th

Every 12 months or so I have a health check mainly centred around how my heart is doing, however this year I won’t be bothering……… because I’m convinced there’s nothing at all wrong with it!!!

If there was, the old ticker would have packed up during the last few games, because once again yesterday’s match was a real ‘nail biter’, our fifth victory by 2 or less points and it was once again blooming hard work watching, I can tell you!!

However on a serious note the issue is of course that despite winning that performance just isn’t good enough if we want to finish top 4, because like it or not we are getting progressively worse, not better and teams will start to find us out. In that last desperate 20 minutes yesterday, lacking the leadership of Ellis, Manu, Talanoa and Mini, with ball in hand the rest of ‘em had brain fart after brain fart. In the end it was sheer bloody mindedness, some amazing tenacity in defence close to our line and perhaps the steadying hand of Pryce that kept them out and JUST got us home with another two precious points.

Castleford will feel badly done by, but tough!!! We have been there so many times before and few had any sympathy for us!! And of course in the end as my pal Tommy always says, goal kicks win you matches! Despite us playing pretty crap at times the way we have stacked points up of late is quite amazing, but the desperation and wanting is there and of course as I said last week, winning does become a habit!! So, in the end, we made it 14 wins in our last 15 matches in all competitions.

However if you weren’t there, then believe me, we made bloody hard work of it and for that winning habit to continue next week against the Dragons, we will need to be ten times better with ball in hand!!

Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 498th

The Dentist’s Diary – 497th

‘Winning is a habit’ said the great NFL Coach, Vince Lombardi, and of course he was absolutely right. In this ‘topsy turvey’ new league format, success before the split to the ‘Super Eights’, is all about working together, believing in each other and simply accruing the points however you can.

Stylish play is great, but first and foremost it’s really all about getting the points that position you for the upcoming battles in rounds 24 to 30. On Friday, we won and in the future that’s all that the record books will show!!! It was an ugly, ugly game, but a fabulous two points, we played poorly at times, but so did the ‘Wire’ and in the end we prevailed through sheer resolve and fortitude, so who cares?

Frank was back and put in a good shift!!!

In the end it was guts, effort, the ability to put a string of mistakes behind us (and never let them get to us) and a deal of sheer bloody mindedness that got us home again on Friday night. In Gareth Ellis we had the leader, whilst with 40 yards more ‘go forward’ than anyone else on the pitch, in Talanoa we had ‘the difference’, as the rest of the lads fell in behind those two, dug deep and came away with the spoils. However, it was hard to watch and neither side really valued the ball at all, the Wolves only scored two fortunate tries, while all of ours were well worked efforts, in a performance that saw our defence so good, that the games top scorers made not one clear break all night!

OK in between those tries there where errors a plenty, but both sides made them and it was Hull FC that mastered a visibly flagging Warrington pack and found a way to win.

As I say all you have to do is get the points and now with five games to go to the ‘split’ and us 10 points clear of the 5th team, we will have to be ‘very careless’ indeed to not finish in the top 4, a position that brings with it the advantage of 4 home games in the final 7 matches. So, as we look at the league table this morning, we have to say that for our 2016 campaign, it’s definitely a case of so far, so good!

Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 497th

The Dentist’s Diary – 496th

Two more points, still top of the league and despite a pretty abysmal first half when we just couldn’t get going, it was in the end, once again, job done. What’s more after what went on before in that now almost infamous early season game at Widnes, it was also just what we needed; a bit of retribution!

So, it wasn’t pretty and was certainly a bit flat at times, but once more from somewhere we built up a head of steam and found a couple of back to back tries to simply kill the opposition off. It didn’t have the finale of the Catalan game, or the style of the Wigan win, nor did it have the drama of last week. However once again, after a half time score of 6-4 had us perhaps twitching a little, it was in the end job done, as another smash and grab twenty minutes saw the game over by three-quarter time! We simply ran over them down the middle in that third quarter of the game and several of the Widnes players were ‘out of it’ by the end!!

One thing’s become very apparent of late too; being top brings new challenges, because everyone wants to beat us now…….!!

But let’s stop all this ‘will we get to a final’ or ‘will we win something’ stuff eh? Because the answer to that is ‘We probably won’t’, because at Hull FC history dictates that sooner or later it’s all likely to go ‘Mammary’s Skyward’. Whether that happens now, later on or not at all, the fact remains that as the indefatigable ‘Mrs. B.’ said on a message board this week, “Nothing can detract from the brightest three months we have seen as FC fans, in a decade” and I couldn’t agree with her more about that one; like her I’m just loving it!!!

Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 496th

The Dentist’s Diary – 495th

Another big game and another BIG, big two points and this morning how good does this look?


On Saturday there was more drama, more excitement and another massive dollop of relief and exhilaration on the final hooter, as once again everyone who attended in black and white got their money’s worth! I was just elated at the end, as the fans joined the players in another quite amazing celebration. In fact I was still buzzing 24 hours later on Sunday afternoon!

You know, as a FC fanatic who has none the less at times over the years become a bit of a ‘sceptical unbeliever’, I’m really enjoying this season! I’ve always loved the club, but have attended at times more through a sense of duty than anything else. However that’s all changed of late because even though we are probably still only performing at about 70% of our potential, the games are so rewarding and exciting and the players are clearly ‘doing it’ for each other in a way that I haven’t seen for years.

On Saturday once again it was just marvellous, marvellous entertainment and a wonderful experience to just be there. By the end I felt as wrung out as if I had played myself, but you can ask no more of an afternoon watching sport because what we again witnessed on Saturday was 80 minutes of absolute, full on passion from every one of our 17 players and long may that continue.

Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 495th

“We are top of the League I say we are top of the League!!”

Whatever the circumstances a win over the Dobbins is always, always worth a celebration!

Wow I’m glad that’s over, as all week I had worried about what could happen at Newcastle and by heavens, it almost did!!!!

By 5-00pm on Sunday evening the results thus far had all gone for us and it was with the knowledge that we would still be joint top whatever happened, that I sat down to watch a game in which I could see us ending up with egg on our faces. Pessimism in these situations is my sole coping mechanism really, but I’m allowed to be concerned, because experience proves that we all know what can happen in derby games don’t we? I watched as usual from behind the settee and even from there it doesn’t get any easier. But, we turned a poor performance and a potential local catastrophe into another win, which by ‘close of play’ saw us top of the league!!

It was, for the most part, a poor showing from the FC and although no one has a right to a win, in the end somehow, even as the favourites, we did! As all really good teams do when under the cosh, after conceding 16 unanswered points we found the means to claw our way back and win it and what a brilliant last quarter we produced. Three quick fire tries and then ten minutes of slowing it down, grinding out the yards and breaking the Dobbins hearts. That’ll always do for me!!!!!

Continue reading “We are top of the League I say we are top of the League!!”

The Dentist’s Diary – 493rd

There were a lot of unhappy looking Pies around on Friday!!

Oh my word, what IS going on? At present I’m getting to the point of being ‘Gobsmacked’ by it all!!!

It’s not a word I use, but it’s the only one left in the thesaurus under ‘amazing’ that I haven’t already utilised this season! Why do words fail me? Well, probably because I simply can’t believe just what is happening at present, can you??

I’m sat here trying to write this in the early hours of Saturday morning simply because although it’s been over 4 hours since the final hooter sounded, I’m still wide awake and still so excited! I’m literally buzzing after what was another utterly, utterly fabulous display! I know there will be set backs and that it’s not always going to be like this, but you have to saver the moment, you really do!!

4 month ago even the most optimistic fan would have rubbed their eyes in disbelief had they been confronted with the possibility of these last two wins, (with back then, even one out of the two being pretty unlikely!) Where all this belief and confidence has come from heaven knows, but it is there in abundance and it’s certainly heartened us all and indeed filled us with at least a modicum of optimism!! That’s a rare commodity indeed amongst us FC fans! Wigan was the only Super League side Lee Radford hadn’t beaten as a coach: and now he has that feather in his cap too!

If the Saints game was a massive win in the context of the Cup, then this was a signature victory in the 2016 Super League campaign and so, after this latest round of games, everyone in the game is talking about just two things, Leeds Rhino’s and Hull FC ……and they are doing it for two totally different reasons!

Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 493rd

The Dentist’s Diary – 492nd

Totally and absolutely unbelievable!!!!!!!

That was impressive and I mean impressive, but maybe not quite as impressive as the scoreboard operator thought it was!!

In all the abject disappointment he’s got his 4’s and 7’s mixed up, bless him!

However, that victory was certainly as good as it gets and in positively tropical conditions a massive contingent of the FC Army watched in awe as their heroes absolutely battered the opposition before systematically taking the Saints apart to impart on the hosts their biggest defeat on their own ground for 3 seasons!

Most significant of all was the fact that this was the most important game of the season thus far for us and it was our best performance too; that’s what really good teams do!

It was simply superb and after all that has gone before in here over the years, I really can’t believe what I saw at Langtree Park yesterday. In fact by the last quarter of the game I was thinking that any minute I was about to wake up at home in bed!!!

You see for me watching it back after all the nervousness had subsided, it was a performance every bit as good as that famous semi in 2005, for like that sunny day in Huddersfield this too will live long in the memory of everyone who witnessed it!!

Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 492nd