York City Knights 20-22 Bradford Bulls
Sunday 18th February 2018, 15:00pm
League 1 - Round: 1
Kieren Moss, Joe Batchelor 2,
Connor Robinson 3,
Connor Robinson 2,
Ashley Gibson, Elliot Minchella, Steve Crossley,
Joe Keyes 5,
York City Knights
Concluding a pulsating opening game at Bootham Crescent, Bradford fought their way to a 22-20 victory over York City Knights as Joe Keyes’ kick after the hooter rewarded Kear’s side with two points.
As Bradford travelled East to begin their first ever League 1 campaign, John Kear’s side battled until the final minute against tipped promotion rivals, York City Knights, claiming a last gasp victory following determined attacking.
The afternoon was a pulsating spectacle for the natural fan, although heart throbbing for supporters of the two sides involved.
As both clubs went hammer and tongue at one another, trading blows, Bradford’s persistence paid off to help them travel back to Odsal with a win.
York were piling the pressure on the League 1 newbies early doors, forcing a goal line drop out which helped set up former Bull, Kieren Moss for an opening try in the corner.
Bradford then began to find their feet after soaking up immense pressure from the home side, as Ashley Gibson opened the scoring.
Joe Keyes’ perfectly weighted kick allowed the centre to leap into the path of the ball, soaring over Moss to touchdown for four points.
Stemming from the Bulls missed conversion, the Knights edged further ahead with a penalty kick.
Keyes orchestrating play once more set his side up for their second score of the day, using quick, dancing feet to get around the full back, setting Elliot Minchella up for a stroll in try.
Going into the half-time break, John Kear made his plans evident to continue to pile the pressure on the Knights, coming out and scoring promptly.
After drawing a goal line drop out from the Knights, Steve Crossley barged over the line two metres out, latching onto Halafihi’s well placed pass.
As the Bulls held onto an 18-6 lead, the home side began to show their Championship class claiming two tries through Bachelor to help level the scores.
Coming into the final ten minutes, the stage was set for a pulsating conclusion in the season opening game.
York continued to push forwards to grasp drop goals to give them a winning edge, although the right foot of Joe Keyes thrusted Bradford back ahead on the sound of the hooter.
As all eyes fell on the Ireland international, he held his nerve to knock the ball over the black dot from the half-way line for the win.
BRADFORD BULLS: McNally, Grant, Gibson, Smith, Ryan, Keyes, Minchella, Crossley, Hallas, Kirk, Garside, Johnson, Milton.
Interchanges: Peltier, Halafihi, Wood, Pickersgill
GOALS: Keyes 4/5
TRIES: Gibson (16’), Minchella (36’), Crossley (47’)
YORK CITY KNIGHTS: Robson, Cockayne, Oakes, Hey, Moss, Robinson, Marsh, A. Robinson, Ellis, Horne, Batchelor, Scott, Spears.
Interchanges: Jubb, Siddons, Dixon, Porter.
GOALS: Robinson 2/3 - (DG - 2/2)
TRIES: Moss (3’), Batchelor (49’, 63’)