POCKLINGTON gave a much-improved display away to a powerful Hull side - but it was still not enough to stop the home side from winning 41-12 to go second in North Premier.

Injury-hit Pock not only faced a forceful lineup but also had to battle against adversity before and during the game.

Already without a number of key players, including a raft of front-rows and skipper Ben Rees, they had a further blow when Euan Walker, their most improved man of the past month, pulled a hamstring in the warm-up.

Things got worse after the kick off, with Hull wing Steve Hihetah going over for a hat-trick inside 14 minutes to break the club try record with half a season still to go.

Romanian international Hihetah has spent most of his career as a full-time professional, and his strength and pace were too much for Pocklington's left flank, Pock also contributing to their own downfall with costly errors, a missed touch kick, dropped pass and some hesitant tackling all paving the way for Hull scores.

At 17-0 down, Pocklington were staring at the abyss. But they turned it round with real determination and courage.

They had been lacerated out wide so they set about repairing the damage with muscular pick-and-go tactics through their pack. Their massive effort was successful, though not fully rewarded, with only one try the result.

Waves of pack pressure saw gallant prop Will Norris plunge over only for the referee to be unsighted and rule held up. They came again and number eight Jack Holbrough dived through for a try, well converted by Christian Pollock.

Then lock Tom Peters wriggled over only to be penalised for a double movement.

Twice more Pock got to within sight of the line but gave away a penalty.

To rub salt in wounds, the hosts duly took play to the other end and dummied through for another score.

Pock suffered more misfortune as tackling machine Karl Durkin went off with a hand injury on the half hour, and Hull rubbed it in further with another try from the last play of the first half - a kick being charged down and Hull accepting the gift to make it 29-7.

Pocklington again raised their game on the resumption to match the home side in attack and defence.

With Peters, Holbrough and flanker Owen Jackson leading the way, the difference between top and bottom in the table was hardly apparent.

However, another charged down Pock kick turned over the ball and Hull showed how it should be done to boot down the line for a further try.

Again Pock came back with a determined score. Fly-half Pollock caught out the home back three with a chip and regather. Replacement back Josh Britton fixed the home defence and Pollock took it on before delivering an overhead pass for hooker Dave Birch to dive in at the corner.

After their nightmare start, 34-12 looked a respectable scoreline. But four minutes into stoppage time Pock failed to clear their lines, were harshly penalised and saw Hull take a quick tap to cross and convert again.