Lowly Ionians finally earn first five-point haul of the campaign

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Hull Ionians secured their first five-point haul of the season when they beat promotion-chasing Fylde 37-22 at Brantingham Park.

A strong forwards display – and an excellent kicking display from Isaac Green – helped the hosts secure victory.

Green was successful with the first of his five penalties to put Ionians in front as early as the third minute but Fylde, throwing the ball about in their usual manner, replied with a try from prop Dan Birchall.

Green put Ionians back in front with another penalty before Chris Johnson took advantage of a depleted home side to cross for a try.

It looked as if the visitors would take a slender lead in at half time, but a break by winger Sam Wilson – carried on by Keane Naylor – took Ionians to within five metres of the visitors’ line and from the resulting set piece Ionians were awarded a penalty try to go into the break at 13-10.

The prolific Olly Bennand opened the scoring within minutes of the restart, reacting when everyone else stopped for a forward pass and raced in from 40 yards, Chris Johnson converted to give Fylde a four-point lead. Ionians re-took the lead with two further penalties from Green before Keane Naylor extended it to 24-17 straight from the restart.

The East Yorkshire side were now in total control and made sure of victory and five points with a final penalty from Green and two tries from drives from the pack, Mark Wigham scoring them both.

A poor first-half performance by Wharfedale meant they went in at half time trailing 37-3 with a Tom Barrett penalty their only score.

The Dalesmen’s lack of application and effort was overwhelmed by committed attacks from a team threatened with relegation.

Six tries were run in by Henley before half time. Wharfedale gave a better performance after the break “winning” the second half by 19 points to 15.

Armstrong, Taylor and Jordan scored the tries with Tom Barrett converting two of them.

A fourth, bonus point, try eluded Dale but coach Jon Feeley commented that the second half performance was “a response full of character”.

Doncaster Knights inched closer to sealing an instant return to the Championship with a 23-14 win at Esher.

Clive Griffiths’s side scored three tries to the two of Esher, with Bruno Bravo, Michael Hills and Dougie Flockhart crossing the whitewash. Flockhart added a conversion and a penalty while Paul Roberts also kicked a three-pointer to leave the Knights eight points clear of Rosslyn Park with five games to go.