Tommy Makinson scored a first-half hat-trick for St Helens to ensure Hull FC’s last-ditch bid for a Betfred Super League play-off place ended in failure.
Wigan’s 26-8 victory over Castleford 24 hours earlier handed Hull one final chance to secure a top-five spot at the KCOM Stadium.
But they were not good enough to take advantage as high-flying Saints ran out comfortable 22-6 victors thanks to Makinson’s treble and second-half scores for Mark Percival and Regan Grace.
It could have been a bigger winning margin but visiting full-back Lachlan Coote converted only one of his five shots at goal.
At half-time and thanks to Makinson’s treble, Hull trailed 14-6 and their hopes of a top-five spot fading fast.
Makinson swooped for his first touch down after nine minutes from full-back Coote’s cut out pass. He added his second six minutes later after Theo Fages floated a perfectly weighted kick to the corner.
Andhe completed his hat-trick when he accepted another Coote pass.
In between, prop Scott Taylor powered onto a Jamie Shaul pass to give Hull hope of a comeback.
And had Marc Sneyd clung on to his own kick with the try-line at his mercy it might have been a different story. Despite that setback, Hull began the second half strongly and almost added a second try as Ratu Naulago tried desperately to reach Albert Kelly’s kick.
Having soaked up constant pressure, Saints broke away to leave Hull in deep trouble with a fourth try from centre Percival.
The game over when Grace put the finishing touches to Saints’ win late on to ensure a season extension for grateful Castleford.
Hull FC: Shaul, Naulago, Tuimavave, Griffin, Faraimo, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Satae, Minichiello, Lane, Ellis. Substitutes: Bowden, Connor, Matongo, Fash.
St Helens: Coote, Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace, Lomax, Fages, Thompson, Roby, Walmsley, Peyroux, Z. Taia, Knowles. Substitutes: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Amor, Ashworth, Bentley.
Referee: Liam Moore (RFL)