IT WAS tense, fraught and so scrappy but Huddersfield Giants cared not one jot after youngster Louis Senior scored the try that delivered them a huge win in their bid for Super League survival.
Simon Woolford’s side looked set to be heading towards another painful defeat that would leave them further in the mire at the foot of the table.
However, Senior - the teenage winger - showed remarkable composure to come up with the 67st minute effort that stunned title-chasing Hull FC and did wonders for Huddersfield’s bid to avoid relegation.
The West Yorkshire club remain in 10th spot but - with just a couple of games remaining - are now two points clear of both Hull KR and London Broncos who play their fixtures over the weekend.
Darnell McIntosh delivered his second assist of the night to get Senior over in the corner before Lee Gaskell’s grubber saw recalled Matt Frawley score and seal victory eight minutes from time.
It was a miserable defeat for the hosts who would have gone second with victory but were kept scoreless in the second period by Giants’ fine defence and are now left clinging onto fifth place.
They were hit by the late withdrawal of Josh Griffin, who was injured in the warm-up and meant youngster Kieran Buchanan came in, but that was no excuse for this dismal showing from Lee Radford’s side who were booed off at the end.
They now face a massive game at sixth-placed Castleford Tigers on Thursday, rivals who are two points behind them but boast a far superior points difference as they fight out for a place in the top-five.
For all Jake Connor wants to be Hull’s first-choice stand-off, he yet again failed to take his chance with Albert Kelly still sidelined.
As his side were looking for the score to pull clear of Huddersfield at the start of the second period, leading 12-10, first he crabbed sideways only to be bundled into touch, and then he spilled under no pressure to waste two golden attacking opportunities.
The England star was not the only one, mind; Gaskell - the Huddersfield stand-off - surged over on the first tackle but only having run behind one of his own team-mates, leaving his colleagues furious at such a basic waste of attacking chance.
Gaskell had been restored to six from full-back by Woolford - who also brought Australian scrum-half Frawley back into the side - in order to relieve the pressure on rookie duo Oliver Russell and Tom Holmes.
The move paid off as Gaskell came up with that killer play at the death.
That said, initially, they bombed a chance with their first possession when a well-worked shift saw Gaskell put Aaron Murphy clear but the back-row - playing at centre - ignored Jermanine McGillvary on his outside and was halted by Jamie Shaul.
In their next set, Ukuma Ta’ai was easily ushered through, too, by Frawley but, once more, there was no finish.
When Hull prop Scott Taylor hit Frawley late, they ignored the chance of two points to try and strike again - only to see Gaskell spill at the play-the-ball close to the line although, admittedly, there seemed to be plenty of interference in the ruck.
You sensed then that Woolford’s side, who had failed to even score in two of their last three outings, might pay for such profligacy; Hull must surely eventually wake from their slovenly state?
Typically, the hosts did then score with their very first real attack of note in the 12th minute.
McIntosh had gifted them possession with a forward pass to McGillvary on halfway and, direct from the resulting scrum, Hull immediately swung into action with the decisive application their opponents had been so badly lacking.
Shaul and Tuimavave combined to get Jack Logan free down the right and the winger - playing his first game since May due to Ratu Naulago’s injury - showed real poise to kick infield where Shaul duly finished.
Marc Sneyd slotted the first of his two goals and Tevita Satae came on to rouse Hull further with a punishing first drive.
till, Huddersfield - who gave a debut to young forward Jon Luke Kirby - responded seven minutes later when McIntosh got his angles right and delivered a perfect cut-out pass for McGillvary to cut in and finish well.
Ukuma Ta’ai saw the ball slip out of possession in the restart set but it did not deter Giants who added their second try in the 24th minute.
Murphy climbed highest to collect Gaskell’s shallow chip and do brilliantly to touch down as he came down on his back.
Gaskell improved for a 10-6 lead but that was soon eroded as Shaul - not known for his handling - showed once more how he has improved in this area, firing a mis-pass for Bureta Faraimo to slide over.
Sneyd did the rest from wide out to give Hull a slender 12-10 interval advantage but it would not be enough as resilient Huddersfield fought so hard to claim the vital points.
Hull FC: Shaul; Logan, Tuimavave, Buchanan, Faraimo; Connor, Sneyd; Taylor, Houghton, Paea, Manu, Lane, Westerman. Substitutes: Bowden, Fash, Ellis, Satae.
Huddersfield Giants: McIntosh; McGillvary, Murphy, Jake Wardle, L Senior; Gaskell, Frawley; Matagi, O’Brien, Clough, Mellor, Ta’ai, Lawrence. Substitutes: Leeming, Hewitt, Kirby, Wilson.
Referee: Liam Moore (Wigan)