Keighley Cougars v Bradford Bulls
Sunday 11th March 2018, 15:00pm
League 1 - Round: 3
Stats over last 2 encounters
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 with the help of star debutant, George Flanagan.
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.
Claiming two tries coming off the bench, the product of the Bradford Academy 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 the Cougars kneel. Elliot Minchella opened the scoring, supporting Joe Keyes’ break from the halfway line to touch down.
Keighley showed glimpses of flair to threat the Bulls, but the defensive line held strong as 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 story stayed much of the same as Bradford built up the points to run away with the substantial victory.
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, in fine form 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.
The same man that closed the scoring of the first half, opened proceedings just two minutes into the next.
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 scoreboard as he gratefully scooped up a loose pass and took it 90m to the house.
Despite the growing scoreline, Keighley insisted on remaining in the fight 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 the cross-field kick to take advantage of an error.
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 evening for John Kear’s side as the winger intercepted a wild pass from a Cougar, taking it 30m down the wing and touching down next to the sticks.
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’)