MARK Percival swooped in to touch down for a miracle try in the tight corner to make sure Saints got a full reward for their dominance against Hull.

Saints bossed the game for the huge majority of minutes but had failed to polish off a number of chances, which meant that their lead was a vulnerable two points until Percival leapt on to Theo Fages chip wide to score in the tightest of spaces.

And to make certain Danny Richardson put himself in the perfect pocket drop a goal to make it a two-score lead.

It was a positive end to a performance that keeps Saints in contention for a top four position with nine games to play.

Although the drizzle contributed to some poor handling, particularly in an error strewn first half, there were nevertheless signs of Saints trying to play some football.

But despite creating four clear-cut chances in the opening quarter, Saints failed to turn any of them into points.

And that left them behind on the scoreboard when Jamie Shaul scored off a forward-looking Albert Kelly offload Saints responded when they finally got a reward for their pressure with the outstanding James Roby darting over from dummy half.

A Percival conversion and penalty gave Saints a two-point lead at the break.

Saints absolutely pulverised Hull for the entire duration of the third quarter but only managed to convert that pressure and territory into one score.

That came on 46 minutes when Fages surprised the Hull defence by running it on the last with his darting, dummying run backed up on the inside by Percival who strode through in acres of space.

Saints knocked on the Hull line repeatedly but again failed to add to their score as the visors doggedly held on.

The game’s momentum then turned on two Hull kicks.

The first from Sneyd on 64 minutes went high and wide, and was palmed back by Percival into the arms of a grateful Mahe Fonua who sauntered over.

All of a sudden, from looking comfortable, Saints’ lead was 14-12 so when Sneyd poached a 40/20 the Hull momentum suddenly seemed irresistible as they twice forced Saints to drop out.

And it looked like Hull had taken the lead when another high ball saw Fetuli Talanoa’s touchdown sent upstairs as a try, only for it to come back down with the thumbs down after Tommy Makinson had been taken out in the air.

The penalty was the snap in momentum Saints needed and from there Percival provided the match winner to calm home nerves to as good as confirm top eight.

Saints’ ambitions go further than that, but to fulfil them they need to start being more clinical with polishing off what they create.

But Saints will draw positives in the displays of young halves Fages and Richardson who stepped up to the plate, with the latter producing a composed display and getting real height on his kicks.

There was another top drawer display from Roby, a strong showing again from Luke Thompson and second good game in a row from Dominique Peyroux.

Saints:Lomax; Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Grace; Fages, Richardson; Douglas, Roby, Thompson, Taia, Peyroux, Knowles. Subs: Walmsley, Amor, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Lee.

Hull FC: Shaul; Fonua, Griffin, Tuimavave, Talanoa; Kelly, Sneyd; Taylor, Houghton Bowden, Washbrook, Minichiello, Manu. Subs: Watts, Connor, Thompson, Matongo