………perhaps on Friday night I came as close as I ever have since we moved to the KC of deciding that enough is enough, the game is buggered and it’s time to walk. Perhaps I thought, I should get the stamp album out and forget altogether the glorious pastime and obsession that has been the passion of my life since I was 6 years old.
The way we are playing of late and despite that draw yesterday we still have a hand on the Cup……….just!
With 6 wins from the last 7 games things are looking up a bit after what was on Saturday, in the end, a fine victory, but above everything else it was also the second week running that I came away from a game feeling that I had been thoroughly entertained. Something has happened and all of a sudden we are playing the sort of Rugby that should bring the fans flocking back, if of course it lasts. It’s good to watch, rough, tough and uncompromising at times, expansive and open at others and we have found a way to hang in a game when the going is tough! In fact as I say just at present, watching Hull FC is good value for money again.
True we struggled in the middle third of the game but it was never going to be plain sailing, Cas are a sturdy team and a talented outfit and last year’s finalists were always going to come back at us. Since the last fifteen minutes against Salford it’s been a steady but very fragile improvement for this fan and so sanitised am I to the ‘same old same old’ of the first half of the season, that when it got to 16-14 for me the game was up and I was just about ready to head home (metaphorically speaking of course).
“Here we go again”, I thought, we’ve seen it all before, but just like at Warrington that wasn’t where we ‘went’ and with some great work in the middle by Mini, Whiting and our front row, we wrestled back the considerable roll forward and momentum that Castleford had built as we went on to kill them off (yes this is Hull FC I’m talking about here) In fact we ran out easy winners in the end which even saw us all sitting back in our seats and actually enjoying the last few minutes stress free! Now that is a novelty and how good is that to report eh?
Wow that was good!!! What an afternoon! If we play like that every week, win or lose we’ll at least be entertained again, for it was, for a change, a game I can only described as really exciting to watch!! We were just so much more adventurous!
I used to say that, “It’s the bad times that make the good ones so good” and good it was! Well done to everyone who went no doubt like me, in hope rather than expectation, because for once we were rewarded and the Halliwell Jones was a great place to be at 4-45pm yesterday afternoon.
It’s a long time since I’ve talked like that in here, but being in that wonderful crowd as that drop goal sailed though the posts was just something else. Around ten minutes earlier we’d been 10 points down with all around us the Wire fans singing, “Going Down, Going Down” and yet, in the end, we won it with a single drop goal right on the hooter. The drama was complete and that’s all anyone wants or can ask for, there was excitement, endeavour and even a bit of dare I say expansive rugby too.
It’s not the end of our woes I’m sure of that, but it might at least be a glimmer of hope that could just points towards the beginning of the end. Liam Watts said on Friday, “We have a game-plan and we know what we have to do, we just have to execute it. It’s going to be a decent match with some decent points scored” You have to say after that game, he was spot on with that!
Almost 24 years to the day that we beat Widnes at Old Trafford I wore the ‘Shopacheck’ shirt I wore that afternoon and now it looks like that just might be a fixture for the foreseeable future; or at least until we lose again!
A bit over the top? Well, let’s face it, when you’re a fan it’s never just ordinary is it? It’s invariably steeped in superstition, it’s often controversial and always either brilliant or tragic and, although my judgement may be tempered somewhat in the cold light of tomorrow morning, as I sit here in the car writing this on the way home I still can’t really believe it happened!!
Lee Radford; Hull Season STILL alive and kicking!
So read the headline that ‘shouted out’ to me from the back page of the Hull Daily Mail, in the rack in front of me as I walked into Morrissons on Saturday Morning! Perhaps a bit of an over statement of fact I thought? Well…. perhaps just a bit!!!!
But, boy did we need two points on Friday and thank goodness we got them. In the first instance it didn’t matter a lot how we grabbed them, because, in theory at least, it keeps us in touch with 8th place. However in the afterglow of another scratchy performance it was my hope that in winning we would give some indicators of better things to come. You know what I mean, some signs that we could rise to that 8th position and stay there through the tough away days that come thick and fast, weeks after week in June.
However in this game, it was hard to see much hope for those weeks ahead and I have to say that for me there were few real indications of us making much progress at all. As I say at least we won (these days that’s all you have to do), but for long periods it was again a desperate, muddled and at times pretty aimless performance, before, as at Sheffield, a couple of great ‘individual’ efforts got us over the line.
The thing about this match was of course that we were on a loser from the moment the Salford Club muted their problems. From then on in, we simply couldn’t win, even if we did! The histrionics in the media before the game, caused by the ‘hand wringing’ of the Salford Club, meant that we were on the back foot from the off. Scrape past them as we did, and they would be seen as heroes for holding us close, (as they are) blow them away and it was just what everyone expected, or lose and be the laughing stock of Super League. That’s why we HAD to win and thankfully we did.
However, I’m trying to find some positives here folks although once again, the win apart, it’s a pretty desperate search!!