THERE was a massive improvement for Pocklington at home to star-studded Hull – the visitors only pulling away in the closing stages to claim a 30-0 victory.

Despite being considerably under strength due to injury and availability, Pocklington took the game to Hull from the outset, battering at the visiting line through their forwards and Ben Thoy coming off his wing to hammer up the middle against his former club.

Hull survived the home onslaught, but Pocklington were scrummaging solidly and Archie Fothergill ensured the home line-out was strong as the Pock forwards continued to dominate territory and possession.

But Hull have built a strong semi-pro side in the past couple of seasons – several of their squad have been full time rugby players until the past year or so. And they were able to defend without the ball until making a first incursion into Pocklington territory in the 22 minute, when they kicked a penalty to open the scoring.

Hull were then awarded a penalty try when home scrum half David Davison was adjudged to have killed the ball at a five-yard scrum. To add insult to injury he was then yellow carded.

It was Pocklington's turn to be on the back foot, but Jack Holbrough led another big effort at the tackle and breakdown, ably abetted by his young back row colleagues Toby Stephenson and Sam Garvey.

And, despite being a man light, Pocklington almost survived to the interval – Hull knocking over another penalty with the last kick of the half to go in 13-0 ahead.

Hull threw everything into a big start to the second period, only for Pocklington to match them blow for blow.

It was a stirring display for the home side, but it was inevitable that they would tire and Hull had more stars on the bench to throw on for the final quarter.

The visitors scored three times in the last 13 minutes to pull clear.

First, they stole the ball at the base after Pock had heeled a midfield scrum. Pocklington responded gamely with centre James Flint leading a series of midfield thrusts.

But they were short with an angled penalty attempt, slipped up a couple of times with their execution in attack, and were twice hit on the break as Hull's pace out wide saw them fly down either flank from their own half to score.

It gave a final scoreline that does no justice to Pocklington's effort and performance, but the home side can start to look forward knowing they can compete with the best in the league.