11th March 2018, 21:01
BULLS DUO SHINE IN KEIGHLEY THUMPING
With local bragging rights up for grabs, Bradford Bulls came out of the Yorkshire derby on top as they breezed past Keighley Cougars with a convincing 54-6 victory.
Pulling on the Red Amber and Black jersey for the first time under John Kear’s reign, Flanagan helped lead the charge as Bradford ran away with a resounding win over their rivals.
Coming off the bench, the Bradford Academy product was one of several stars at Cougar Park as Ross Peltier showed his class in a stellar performance, picking up one of nine tries to see the Bulls remain unbeaten for the campaign.
As Bradford got proceedings underway, the two sides gave their all until the Bulls made a decisive inroad, Elliot Minchella opened the scoring, supporting Joe Keyes’ break from the halfway line to touch down.
Keighley worked hard to threaten the Bulls, but the defensive line held strong and former-Cougar Peltier crashed over the line on the stroke of the 27th minute, taking the two would be tacklers over the whitewash with him.
Following Peltier’s score, the Bulls consolidated and gradually took control of the game.
As the game entered the 30th minute, George Flanagan stepped onto the field and within seconds was diving over the line to open his Bradford scoring account.
Brandon Pickersgill’s break from 40m out gave Flanagan the chance to storm to the line and add four points onto the board for his boyhood club.
Ross Peltier won a penalty for his side as the four men that it took to get him down, held too long in the tackle. With this Bradford pulled out the kicking tee before the first half concluded. The ever-trusting boot of Joe Keyes extended the lead to 18-0.
Keyes was on hand again immediately after the break to quickly get the Bulls on the scoreboard again. Faking a pass in front of the Keighley line, Keyes used his blistering acceleration to take him to the line and score in front of the 2,000 plus travelling Bradford fans.
Shortly after, Dalton Grant added his name to the growing list of scorers as he gratefully scooped up a loose pass and took it ninety metres to the line.
Despite the growing scoreline, Keighley kept on fighting and they were rewarded for their efforts as Nicholson crashed over the line for the Cougars only score of the game.
Elliot Minchella continued his fine scoring form of late, as the second row was perfectly positioned under a cross-field kick to take advantage of an error from the home side.
Keighley winger, Andy Gabriel, was in the right position to take in the ball but the pressure from Welsh-International Grant, saw Gabriel fumble the catch allowing Minchella to saunter over the line.
Ten minutes later, Sam Hallas found his way in the in-goal area as the hooker picked up the ball from dummy half on the face of the Keighley line, barging his way over for the try.
Ethan Ryan rounded off the impressive afternoon for John Kear’s side as the winger intercepted a wild pass from the Cougars, easing thirty metres down the wing and touching down next to the posts to give Joe Keyes his ninth conversion of the afternoon.
Bradford Bulls: McNally, Grant, Gibson, Smith, Ryan, Keyes, Pickersgill, Bustin, Hallas, Crossley, Garside, Minchella, Milton
Interchanges: Chisholm, Peltier, Wood, Flanagan
GOALS: Keyes 9/10
TRIES: Minchella (13’, 60’), Peltier (27’), Flanagan (30’, 63’), Keyes (42’), Grant (47’), Hallas (69’), Ryan (79’)
Keighley Cougars: Hawkyard, Aaronson, Barnes, Ryder, Gabriel, Hardcastle, Beharrell, Law, Lumb, Bailey, Nicholson, Tonks, Emmett
Interchanges: Conroy, Rawlins, Fairhurst, Tahraoui
GOALS: Hardcastle 1/1
TRIES: Nicholson (55’)