Battling win keeps Hull in race for top spot
A superb late try from Mahe Fonua ensured Hull FC claimed a barely deserved 18-12 victory over Wakefield Trinity Wildcats to remain in contention for the League Leaders' Shield in Super League.
Hull's form has dipped since they secured the Challenge Cup by beating Warrington Wolves at Wembley last month and Lee Radford's men were again below their best at Belle Vue on Thursday.
However, Fonua produced a moment of magic with nine minutes remaining, swatting Tom Johnstone aside in a bullocking run before passing to Steve Michaels and then collecting the ball again to squirm over from dummy half.
The Black and Whites now trail leaders Warrington Wolves by a solitary point. The two sides meet at Hull in the final round of the season, although Warrington can secure top spot before then by beating Wigan Warriors on Friday.
Success for Hull was particularly harsh on Johnstone and Craig Hall, who each impressed in a scrappy encounter.
A kick from Hall led to Joe Arundel opening the scoring, the centre stepping inside two defenders from the right touchline to mark his 50th Wildcats appearance with a try.
Liam Finn kicked a penalty to extend Wakefield's lead, after a superb tackle from Hall denied Jamie Shaul at the other end, but Hull eventually forged ahead through scores from ex-Wildcats man Danny Washbrook and Jordan Thompson, who burst on to a short pass from Danny Houghton to go in under the posts.
Johnstone produced a stunning finish in the left corner to haul his side level, but Fonua's stunning score proved decisive as Bill Tupou - who had earlier seen a try controversially disallowed - knocked on when presented with a chance to respond for Wakefield.