Sunday 6th July 2014, 15:00
Super League - Round: 19
Tom Olbison, Adam Henry, Jamal Fakir, Luke Gale 2,
Morgan Escare, Vincent Duport, Ben Pomeroy, Julian Bousquet, Elliott Whitehead,
Luke Gale 5,
Sam Williams 6,
Attendance: 5,188 Official: G Stokes Venue: Provident Stadium, Odsal
Full Time Report
A last-gasp try from former Bull Elliott Whitehead took the shine off James Lowes' homecoming as Bradford were edged out at the Provident Stadium, going down 32-30 at the hands of Catalan Dragons.
A Luke Gale double looked to have won the game for the hosting Bulls, prior to Whitehead’s late effort which put paid to hopes of a dream return for head coach Lowes.
It could not have started any better for Lowes' men, though, as the Bulls drew first blood in a tight-fought affair.
A trio of first-half tries saw the home side take a six-point advantage into the break, as some enterprising attacking play resulted in rewards for Bradford.
The second period began in a similar fashion to the first, as the First:Utility Super League pair traded early blows, before the away side levelled matters – just past the hour mark.
Tom Olbison struck first for the Bulls, the back-rower racing onto a Lee Gaskell pass to give Lowes' men a dream start.
The visitors hit back, however, as Morgan Escare took a Zeb Taia pass to break through and score.
A brilliant break by debutant Danny Williams laid the foundations for Bradford to regain the upper hand.
And they did so via Adam Henry, who galloped more than 50 metres to touch down in the corner.
A rapturous home support had even more to cheer soon after as towering front-rower Jamal Fakir – who joined the club from Catalan – bulldozed his way over the whitewash, taking five Dragons across the line with him.
Vincent Duport scored on the stroke of half-time, prior to a Gale penalty goal – which sealed an 18-12 interval advantage for the Bulls.
Bradford picked up from where they had left off after the break, with vice-captain Gale latching on to a loose ball to extend the home side's advantage to 12 points.
A surging run by Whitehead resulted in a response courtesy of Ben Pomeroy in the minutes which followed, again pegging the hosts back.
Julian Bousquet levelled matters as he wrestled his way over the line, preceding a Sam Williams penalty goal – which gave the visitors a narrow lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
During the closing stages, Gale took advantage of an opportunistic break by Adam O’Brien to restore the hosts' advantage.
But Bradford were unable to hold on, as the Dragons battled back once more.
Immense pressure on the Bradford line led to ex-Bull Whitehead touching down – with less than two minutes remaining. His try proved the difference.
BULLS: Brett Kearney, Danny Williams, Adam Henry, Adrian Purtell, Matty Blythe, Lee Gaskell, Luke Gale, Manase Manuokafoa, Matt Diskin, Adam Sidlow, Jay Pitts, Tom Olbison, James Donaldson. INTERCHANGES: Adam O’Brien, Jamal Fakir, Danny Addy, Chev Walker.
TRIES: Olbison (8), Henry (22), Fakir (25), Gale (42, 70)
GOALS: Gale 5/6
DRAGONS: Morgan Escare, Michael Oldfield, Ben Pomeroy, Vincent Duport, Daryl Millard,Leon Pryce, Sam Williams, Olivier Elima, Ian Henderson, Jeff Lima, Zeb Taia, Elliot Whitehead, Jason Baitieri. INTERCHANGES: Gregory Mounis, Eloi Pellisier, Julian Bousquet, Benjamin Garcia.
TRIES: Escare (13), Duport (35), Pomeroy (48), Bousquet (55)
GOALS: Williams 6/6
REFEREE: GEORGE STOKES