Bradford Bulls v York City Knights
Sunday 22nd July 2018, 15:00pm
League 1 - Round: 18
Stats over last 2 encounters
With two sides fighting in an epic encounter, both Bradford Bulls and York City Knights put on a thrilling spectacle, where Bradford where handed their second league defeat of the year by a tantalizingly close margin.
After a sluggish start where York were able to gain a firm control of the game for the opening 40 minutes, Bradford fought back with their all – although it was not enough to see out the Knights and extend the lead in the Betfred League 1 table to four points.
Coming out of the blocks like rabid dogs, the Knights posted an early 24 points on the home side after some lackadaisical defending and inconsistent calls from the match official.
Breaking the whitewash early, a man who was controversially included in York’s starting line-up following a red card against Doncaster RLFC two weeks ago, Josh Johnson tacked on the first points of the affair.
Breaking the line next to the sticks after quick passing from right to left, Ben Cockayne quickly added four more points as he stretched out in the tackle to score.
Mirroring their first try on the opposite side, Judah Mazive touched down in the corner to extend the lead
With momentum on their side, the visitors barged over for their fourth unanswered try with substitute, Joe Porter, charging at the Bulls and managing to touch down.
Being starved of possession for the majority of the opening half due to the sheer determination of the Knights, Dalton Grant managed to touch down on the Bulls first visit of York’s 20m mark.
Receiving the cut-out pass from Joe Keyes, the Welsh international crossed by the pylon for Bradford’s first four points.
After catching a motivational half-time team talk from their guardian, Bradford went on the push the Knights to one of the most thrilling games of rugby league this year
Even though the Bradford side lost key half-back, Joe Keyes to concussion, Gregg McNally went on to inspire his side to an attempted come back, barging his way over the line from dummy-half to score.
With a fire beginning to burn inside the Bulls, Man of the Match, Ross Peltier fought off four would be defenders to touch down in the tackle – closing the gap on the lead.
Seven minutes later the Bulls struck again through the league’s leading try scorer, Ethan Ryan, as he defied gravity once again with a contender for try of the season.
Catching Dane Chisholm’s skewed cross-field kick, the winger leapt over his man and whilst being hoisted in the air, the academy product planted the ball down and making it look easy in the process.
A smart reverse pass from Sam Hallas helped Bradford add on their final try of the afternoon and further narrow the gap on the second placed Knights.
Grant was able to cross for his brace and his 100th career try as the switch from the hooker caught the York line napping, allowing him to stroll over.
Entering the dying embers of the game with just two points in it, Bradford gave their all to surge forward a take a fundamental lead for the first time.
As Chisholm sent the kick across field, former Bull Butler-Fleming intellectually swapped places with Mazive, to take in the high ball, offload to the winger, who gratefully ran 90m and touched down.
Even though the uplifted Knights jarred a damaging blow into the side of the Bulls, with 8 points in it, Bradford closed the gap to a one score lead thanks to the right boot of Dane Chisholm after a high challenge on James Green.
With the hooter sounding out across the stadium, Bradford players fell on the back’s for only the second time this season, tasting defeat by a painstakingly narrow margin.
Despite the loss, Bradford retain their spot of the top of the table on points difference, regathering themselves and preparing for the trip to the capital to face London Skolars this coming Sunday.
Bradford Bulls: McNally, Grant, Johnson, Oakes, Ryan, Keyes, Chisholm, Crossley, Hallas, Bustin, Minchella, Garside, Wood.
Interchanges: Flanagan, Green, Peltier, Kirk.
Goals: Chisholm – 3/5
Tries: Grant (37’, 78’), McNally (52’), Peltier (55’), Ryan (62’)
York City Knights: Cockayne, Mazive, Butler-Fleming, Hey, Robson, March, C. Robinson, Walne, Ellis, J. Johnson, Batchelor, Scott, Spears.
Interchanges: Carter, Horne, Ormondroyd, Porter.
Goals: Robinson – 4/5
Tries: Johnson (6’), Cockayne (12’), Mazive (20’), Porter (26’), Mazive (69’)