Hull FC 19 Saints 12

Saints RL
Saints RL
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Richard Horne rolled back the years with a man-of-the-match performance for Hull as they toppled Super League leaders St Helens to gain their first win in seven matches.

The 32-year-old half-back looks set to end his 16-year career with the Black and Whites at the end of the season after being told he will not get a new contract but he showed he still has plenty to offer as he masterminded an impressive 19-12 win for his side at the KC Stadium.

Horne, who returned to the side in place of the injured Jordan Rankin, scored their first try and was influential throughout as lowly Hull maintained their recent improvement by claiming a notable scalp.

St Helens skipper Paul Wellens scored his 1,000th point for his club as they battled throughout with a makeshift half-back pair but they can have no complaints over the outcome.

Saints, whose only other defeat in their last seven matches was at neighbouring Hull KR, stay top of the table courtesy of Leeds’ surprise home defeat by Bradford and they also lift the Steve Prescott Cup in memory of the former England full-back who played with distinction for both clubs after topping the aggregate score in the two games this season.

Saints were the liveliest team in a nervous opening quarter for both teams and took the lead when right winger Tom Makinson scooped up a wayward pass and wrong-footed the Hull defence to score his 22nd try of the season.

Mark Percival added the conversion to make it 6-0 but Hull gradually clawed their way back into the contest, largely through the efforts of Horne.

The former Great Britain half-back twisted and turned out of a series of attempted tackles to register his side’s first try on 17 minutes and Joe Westerman levelled the scores.

That gave the home side just the confidence they needed, while the introduction of heavyweight forward Iafeta Paleaaesina lifted the crowd as he tore into the Saints defence.

A clean break by full-back Jamie Shaul came to nothing but Hull maintained the pressure and it paid off six minutes before the break when right winger Tom Lineham forced his way over from dummy half close to the line and Westerman’s second goal made it 12-6.

The half-time hooter came at a good time for St Helens, who were a rejuventated side at the start of the second half largely through the efforts of hooker James Roby.

Makinson demonstrated his ever-present threat with a 50-metre break out of defence and, although Shaul pulled off a crucial tackle, Hull’s defence was exposed out wide when loose forward Willie Manu slipped out a superb pass to get skipper Wellens over for his side’s second try, which enabled him to reach 1,000 points for the club.

Percival’s second conversion tied the scores but that served to inject fresh enthusiasm into the home ranks.

Westerman missed a chance to reclaim the lead for Hull when he put a penalty attempt wide of the target but another probing run from Horne created the position from which prop Mickey Paea proved unstoppable from 10 metres out as he claimed his third try of the season.

Westerman was again off target with the goal attempt but Hull forced their visitors into a series of handling errors to keep them pinned inside their own half and Westerman clinched the win with a penalty and a drop goal.