HULL eased their relegation worries when they notched up a 37-13 home victory over strugglers Bromsgrove on Saturday.
The East Yorkshire side leap-frogged Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Tigers on the back of the four-try, five-point victory – only their fifth league win so far this season, which brings them within striking distance of Yorkshire rivals Otley and Harrogate just above them.
Back row Ben Sullivan’s try was converted by James Cameron after six minutes, only for Bromsgrove to go 10-7 ahead through tries from Kevin Salisbury and Takyua Osaki
Cameron levelled matters with a 26th-minute penalty before he converted centre Ben Thoy’s try just before the break, adding another penalty to make it 20-10 to the hosts.
Jamie Barnard’s 44th-minute try extended Hull’s lead further, with two more efforts from Sullivan completing his hat-trick and a comfortable victory.
Sheffield Tigers had to settle for a losing bonus point after a closely-fought match at fifth-placed Chester.
Tigers took the lead with a 23rd-minute try from Tom Outram, but Chester led 10-3 at half time through tries from Tom Evans and Peter Rees.
Guy Ford’s effort made it 15-3 after 48 minutes, but Tigers hit back on 56 minutes with David Price touching down.
However, Will Nelson added a fourth try for Chester on 66 minutes to extend their lead, with Tom Coates snatching a late Tigers try to claim the losing bonus point.
Losing influential fly-half Mark Ireland in the opening minutes threw Otley into disarray, the home side eventually going down 48-12 at home to Birmingham and Solihull.
While the home side struggled to adapt to the loss of their influential No 10, the visitors capitalised, punishing Otley’s mistakes with fly-half Adam Canning converting all six tries and adding two penalties.
They went ahead in the fifth minute with a try from winger Alexander O’Malley, a further try from lock Adam Spink and two penalties taking them to a 20-0 half-time lead.
Otley hit back with a try from Arnold Ellison in the 48th minute only to concede a try to scrum-half Rodney Petty soon after.
Stephen Depledge snook in for Chris Gemmell to convert to reduce the deficit to 15 points and give the home side faint hope in the 63rd minute, but further scores from Steven Johns, Matthew Spink and Ashley Elvers ensured the visitors ran out comfortable winners.
Harrogate will regard themselves as unlucky after a bright start saw them take a 14-0 lead at leaders Darlington Mowden Park, only to eventually lose out 38-20.
Stephen Parsons went over first after just six minutes, with Kyle Dench soon following, both converted by Joe Rowntree.
But, a Rowntree penalty aside, the home team recovered and were 19-17 ahead at the break thanks to scores from Shaun McCartney, Ross Doneghan and Anthony Harrison.
Further Park tries followed from Cameron Mitchell, Ralph Appleby and a second for McCartney, while Harrogate’s only reply was a Rowntree penalty.