Summer Bash Victory
On this day ….. 27 May
Three years ago, on 27 May 2017, Hull Kingston Rovers made their only appearance to date at the RFL Championship Summer Bash at Bloomfield Road in Blackpool. In front of a record crowd for the Bash of 11,557, the Robins brought down the curtain on the first day’s rugby with a thrilling 20-19 win over Bradford Bulls in the Lancashire rain.
Rovers got off to the worst possible start when Bentley was adjudged to have touched down former Robin Dane Chisholm’s kick through in the second minute. The Robins soon hit back though, and after Jamie Ellis had lost the ball over the line, he then combined with Ben Cockayne to create the space for Andrew Heffernan to cross in the corner, and then landed a touchline conversion. With 17 minutes gone, the scores were level at six apiece. With Chisholm causing the Robins a lot of problems, it was no surprise when he popped up to land a one-pointer in the 35th minute to edge the Bulls ahead again. But on the stroke of half time, Ellis landed a 40-yard penalty to put Rovers ahead for the first time, and it was 8-7 at the break.
Another Ellis penalty made it 10-7 twelve minutes into the second half, but just two minutes later, with Rovers pressuring the Bradford try line, Maurice Blair, being forced into touch by the Bulls defence, pushed the ball back inside, where it was gathered by Chisholm, who raced the length of the field to put the Bulls back in front. The touchline conversion made it 13-10, but Rovers were ahead again in just four minutes. A brilliant kick by Jordan Abdull was gathered by Heffernan for his 14th try of the season, Ellis missed the conversion, and Rovers had a one-point lead at 14-13. It was a case of déjà vu on 61 minutes, when again Chisholm pounced on a loose ball deep inside his own half and raced up field, but this time Abdull came up with a brilliant cover tackle. To compound matters for the Bulls, Chisholm lost the ball in the tackle and was injured and unable to continue. With just eight minutes to go, Abdull was to the fore again, this time stepping inside, twisting and turning and forcing his way over the line for a brilliant individual try. Ellis’s conversion appeared to make the game safe at 20-13, but Robbie Mulhern dropped the kick-off behind his own line and Rovers were under pressure again. The Bulls them pay when, with five minutes to go, Lilley kicked early and Ryan was there to touch down. The conversion made it 20-19, and the large Rovers contingent in the crowd had to endure a nervous four and a half minutes as the Robins played out time.
Despite the conditions, it had been a tremendous game for the neutrals. Rovers secured comfortable home and away wins over the Bulls in the two other games that season, but were made to really dig deep for this one.
The Rovers team that day was – Ben Cockayne; Kieren Moss, Jake Butler-Fleming, Andrew Heffernan, Ryan Shaw; Jordan Abdull, Jamie Ellis; Nick Scruton, Shaun Lunt, Josh Johnson, Maurice Blair, Danny Addy, Ben Kavanagh. Bench: Robbie Mulhern, Liam Salter, Zach Dockar-Clay, Joe Cator
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