Two sides in desperate need of a two point win met in the late round five kick off as the Bradford Bulls took on the Sheffield Eagles at the Tetley’s Stadium in Dewsbury.
With both sides on two points a big enough win would lift either up into seventh place in a congested Championship table but the home side were odds-on with the bookies to pick up the valuable two points as both sides look to kick-start a season which has so far been filled mostly with disappointment.
It was John Kear against Mark Aston as the two old warhorse coaches, and good friends, went head to head yet again.
Benefitting from back to back sets Brad Gallagher took the ball five metres out from Rowan Milnes and he spun over the line to drop to the ground for the four pointer. Milnes converted from the touchline for a 6-0 lead.
As the Eagles found their feet they started to ask a few questions of the Bulls defence, but the defenders had all the answers.
But on thirty minutes a pinpoint Milnes grubber was pounced upon by the chasing Gallagher for his second of the night as he won the race to ground the ball. Milnes missed the conversion, the Bulls leading by 10-0.
It was just a few mistakes on the part of the Eagles which cost them the tries, the two sides were evenly matched and it was all to play for in the second half.
It took sixteen minutes of the second half for Brandon Pickersgill to time his run brilliantly to collect another accurate Milnes grubber kick and go over unopposed to score by the left upright. Milnes added the extras for 16-0, the game looking increasingly in the bag for the home side.
When Sheffield dropped the ball on the half way line Jordan Lilley couldn’t believe his luck as he picked up the loose ball and accelerated towards the Eagles line to score under the sticks and give Milnes a simple conversion for 22-0.
Matty Dawson-Jones got the fifth, and last, Bulls try of the night when Sheffield failed to deal with a high kick tio the corner. The Bradford winger tapped the ball in the air, regathered, and got the ball on the ground. Milnes kicked his fourth goal from wide for 28-0.
It was a good evening at work for the Bulls who secured a win which lifts them above Halifax and into seventh position. It was a workmanlike performance, in difficult conditions, to revitalise the Bulls ahead of next Friday evenings trip to Wakefield in the Challenge Cup while the Eagles will need to pick themselves up for their home tie against Workington Town.
Bulls: Pickersgill (T), Johnson, Evans, Oakes, Dawson-Jones (T), Milnes (4G), Lilley (T), England, Hallas, Crossley, Rooks, Gallagher (2T), Kirk. Subs: Scurr, Doyle, Brown, Nzoungou.
Eagles: Farrell I, McComb, Bower, Yere, Millar, Brown, Thackeray, Wheeldon, Davey, Dixon, Davies, Farrell J, Knowles. Subs: Ward, Mariano, Broadbent, Burns.
Referee: Aaron Moore.