Leaders shocked by perfect Preston
HULL Ionians suffered just their second defeat of the season to bottom half side Preston Grasshoppers, who produced a superb all-round display.
After struggling away at Hinckley last week, they returned home to shock the league leaders – scoring four tries by half-time.
James Gough got the first try inside five minutes after smart play by Paul Arnold.
And just seven minutes later Rouban Birch went over the line next to the posts, after a clever kick into the 22 from Gough found Luke Procter who in turn fed the flanker to scored. Tom Davidson missed the conversion after the ball fell off the tee.
Ionians did get on the scoreboard with a James Sanderson try and Lewis Minikin’s conversion reduced the deficit to five.
But Ionians were then punished through a Procter try and Davidson conversion. Hoppers kept the pressure on, with Tyler Spence avoiding a tackle to score in the corner to get the bonus point, with Davidson converting.
Davidson added another penalty before the break and the players left to a rapturous reception after a perfect first 40.
The second half began and it was more of the same as the Grasshoppers showed their advantage but did not extend their lead.