Sedgley Park returned to winning ways with a superb 30-19 victory at third-placed Hull Ionians to extend their lead at the top of National Two North to 12 points.

After a first league defeat at Tynedale seven days earlier, the Tigers were on the prowl for points and did just that against a tough home side in East Yorkshire.

And it was a victory that pleased coach Steve Hazzelby.

He said: “We were playing our third away game in a row against Hull Ionians which is always a difficult ground to go to against a physical and well-drilled team, especially after our disappointment the previous week against Tynedale.

“It was a return to winning ways with an excellent performance from the squad.

“All the players put in a massive effort and deserve the credit for the win but special mention goes to prop Jon Blanchard and fly-half Steve Collins, who were voted joint men of the match by the Hull coaches.”

Leaders Sedgley started well from the kick off, testing the home defences in the first few minutes.

But it was the home team that went ahead with a penalty after 13 minutes and they had most of the possession in the first 15 minutes.

But they were unable to break down the excellent Tigers defence.

A lovely line break by scrum-half Jacob Tansey, supported by Steve Collins, took the play deep into the hosts’ 22 and three phases later, second-row Bob Birtwell picked up from the base and dived over the ruck to score Sedgley’s first try.

This was followed nine minutes later with a second score for winger Andy Riley, who dived over in the bottom left-hand corner after quick hands by the backs. Collins added the conversion and the visitors were 12 -3 up going into the last 15 minutes of the half.

The home side scored two more penalties in the half but one from Collins for the Tigers saw them go into the break 15-9 in the lead.

The visiting coaches were very pleased with the first-half performance, with set-piece scrum and lineout solid and accurate and their phase play effective in keeping possession and looking after the ball well.

The Tigers started the second half strongly and another sharp line break from Tansey saw the ball moved swiftly right for replacement flanker Gabriel Sereki to touch down in the right-hand corner.

It put the leaders 20-9 up within the first five minutes of the second half and they were playing with continuity and momentum.

Another powerful drive into the home team’s 22 seven minutes later saw the ball moved to captain Matt Riley, who crashed through to give the visitors a fourth and bonus-point try. Collins added the conversion and they were in control of the game 27-9 in the lead.

To their credit, Hull hit back quickly with a well-worked try for their right winger, who went over in the bottom right-hand corner to reduce the arrears at 27-14.

However, Collins added his second penalty in the 61st minute to put Tigers further ahead at 30-14 with nine minutes to go.

Hull did score another try through a well-worked catch-and-drive by their forwards, but the game ended in a victory for the Tigers.

This coming Saturday, Sedgley are at home to Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield in what Hazzelby says will be another big challenge. It is also the club’s charity day in aid of breast cancer and they are hoping for a big support on the day.