Titchener on target as Ionians lift hopes of escaping the drop

Sheffield Tigers' Mark Ireland.
Sheffield Tigers' Mark Ireland.
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Hull Ionians gave their hopes of moving out of the bottom three a big boost with a 34-20 victory over bottom-of-the-table Canterbury in National One.

Their first win of the season, Ionians got off the mark with stand-off Max Titchener kicking a penalty in the 10th minute.

Canterbury hit back hard, though, with two tries, a penalty and conversion to take a 15-3 lead.

However, the Yorkshire side kept their cool and retook the lead after the break.

Prop Ben Bell’s 42nd-minute try was converted by Titchener, and he also added the extras following full-back Lewis Minikin’s 56th-minute score to put Ionians 17-15 ahead.

He struck a penalty on the hour mark, and converted following a 66th-minute try from second-row Joe Makin.

Centre James Tincknell’s try was converted on 72 minutes as the home side went 34-15 ahead, and, although Canterbury had the last word with a 78th-minute try, it was just a consolation.

Second-bottom Ionians are just nine points behind Rotherham Titans, who suffered a 30-14 loss at Bishop’s Stortford.

Rotherham led early in the match with second-row Elliott Ward and No 8 Anthony Maka having tries converted by Morgan Bunting for a 14-3 lead.

But the home side ran in three converted tries after the break to secure the win, with the Titans short-handed following two late sin-binnings.

Sheffield Tigers moved up to fourth spot in National Two (North) with a 21-6 victory over Yorkshire rivals Otley at Dore Moor.

Tigers stand-off Mark Ireland and counterpart Ben Smith traded penalties early in the match as the score ticked over to 6-6.

But centre Jack Roberts touched down in the 34th minute, and Ireland added the conversion as well as a penalty on 47 minutes.

Finally, winger Pete Swatkins raced over in the final minute to cap the win.

Leading with seconds left, Huddersfield had to settle for two bonus points after hosts Hinckley grabbed a 36-33 victory.

A penalty try and another from wing forward Lewis Bradley helped Huddersfield stay in touch at half-time at 17-14, before second-row Nick Sharpe and centre Elliot Munnelly touched down to leave the Yorkshire side 26-24 ahead.

Hinckley edged ahead with a try on 72 minutes, but Bradley’s second try on 75 minutes was converted by Hinchliffe as Huddersfield went 33-29 ahead.

But a last-minute try and conversion saw the hosts take a dramatic win.

Hull were unlucky not to secure more than two bonus points from a 27-24 home loss to high-flying Sedgley Park.

The visitors went 17-0 ahead with two early tries, before Hull stepped up a gear.

Ali Thompson was credited with catch and drive tries either side of half-time to narrow the gap, and when scrum-half Harvey Harding touched down and Dean converted, they had pulled back the deficit to 20-17.

Sedgley eased out to a 27-17 lead, but Hull were not about to roll over and prop Charlie Beech’s late try and Dean’s conversion saw them secure both a losing bonus and four-try bonus point.

Trailing 26-0 with 20 minutes left, Wharfedale battled back with tries from Henry Macnab and Joshua Prell, but it was not enough as they slipped to a 26-14 loss at Chester.

Scunthorpe also lost on the road, Loughborough Students proving too strong and running out 57-11 winners.

Harrogate ran in four tries during a 24-16 victory at Rossendale in the North Premier league, while Sandal edged to a 14-12 victory at Morpeth.

In North One East, leaders Scarborough suffered a 15-9 defeat at Morley. That meant that York closed the gap with a 24-13 four-try victory over Moortown.