Hull Ionians, Hull and Rotherham Titans off to strong start

Hull Ionians made a great start to their National Two North season, securing a 29-14 bonus point win at Chester.

Action from the draw between Driffield and Scarborough (Picture: Andy Standing)

Their hosts proved tricky to break down, but the East Yorkshire outfit persevered. After an early penalty try centre Elliott Munnelly touched down for their second, Ben Smith kicking the conversion.

Chester pulled back a converted try later in the first half, but Ionians secured the win with hooker Ben Stephenson and replacement Aidan Calvert scoring tries, and Smith converting both as well as adding a penalty.

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Sheffield Tigers had to settle for a losing bonus point from their 31-27 loss at Stourbridge, their tries coming from scrum-half Ryan Holmes, flanker Lee Monks and centre Jamie Broadley.

Rotherham Titans ran out 35-5 winners over Yorkshire rivals Wharfedale at Clifton Lane. The hosts looked strong but were also helped by a series of yellow cards for Wharfedale which left the visitors short-handed at crucial times.

Second row Ben Leacock put Wharfedale into an early lead, but Rotherham were 15-5 ahead at half-time with prop Matt Challinor and winger Jamie Cooke touching down and Jonny West kicking a conversion and penalty.

Further tries in the second half from Challinor, captain Zak Poole and centre Lloyd Hayes helped seal the win.

Hull’s dominance of the scrum proved the difference as they ran out 27-8 winners over Luctonians.

Hooker Ali Thompson scored late in both halves, while winger Mike Adlard also touched down in each half. Simon Humberstone kicked two conversions and a penalty to complete the scoring.

Huddersfield lost out 19-24 at home to National League newcomers Bournville.

Will Milner kicked two early penalties for Huddersfield, and converted Arthur Wilkinson’s try to lead 13-0. But the visitors turned up the pressure, and Huddersfield’s only other points came from two more Milner penalties. Sedgley Park proved too strong for Harrogate, winning 51-21 at Rudding Lane.

Tries from Guy Coser, Tom Larder and Jack Haydock were all converted by Sam Fox, but it wasn’t enough to stop a rampant Sedgley Park side.

Otley made a great start to their North Premier fixtures, winning 33-10 over York and securing a maximum five-point haul. But Sandal were beaten at home, with Alnwick winning the North Premier opener 25-13.

Ilkley were rampant in their North One East opener, winning 82-0 over Consett to sit top of the early table.

Morley and Moortown also secured five-point victories, with Morley beating Bradford and Bingley 45-7 and Moortown winning a thriller against Malton and Norton 43-36. Rivals Driffield and Scarborough battled out a 24-24 draw, but Driffield secured a four-try bonus point.