LOANEE Anthony Mullally pulled off a man of the match performance as Bradford Bulls recorded a second-straight victory, defeating London Broncos 25-12 at The Provident Stadium.
It was a close encounter between the two sides, but Francis Cummins’ men proved superior to ensure a much-needed two points.
The unity and commitment in the Bradford ranks proved the difference for a youthful Broncos line-up, which was hit by injuries to Matt Cook, Nesiasi Mataitonga, Mason Caton-Brown and James Duckworth in what was a bruising affair.
Both sides put in a lacklustre performance during the opening exchanges, but the contest swung into line prior to the quarter-hour mark when Jamie Foster was freed by Adrian Purtell’s pass.
The Bulls winger sprinted 40 metres down the wing, before passing the ball inside to a waiting Luke Gale who went over unchallenged. Foster added the extras.
Despite the hosts opening their account, it was London who applied the pressure for the next 20 minutes.
However, their efforts failed to bear fruit.
A series of penalties provide the Bulls with some much-needed field position and it led to a second Bradford touchdown, courtesy of front-rower Adam Sidlow.
The Broncos were quick to respond, however, as Thomas Minns chased a Scott Moore kick to slide over.
Though the Bulls were unlucky not to score right on the stroke of half time.
Winger Luke George was knocked out while attempting to cross the whitewash and was deemed to have been held up by referee Tim Roby, leaving the scoreboard reading 12-6 at the break.
The home side picked up from where they had left off after the interval, opening their second-half account via a superb James Donaldson break, which was finished by stand-in stand-off Danny Addy with Foster adding the extras.
The Broncos refused to lie down, however, and returned to narrow the gap to just six points once again.
When Bull Foster failed to defuse a Moore chip, James Cunningham jumped highest to collect the ball and sped to the undefended line. Josh Drinkwater once again improved from the kicking tee, reducing the arrears.
The remainder of the game was close-fought, with both Bradford and London defending their lines well.
But half-back Gale moved to ensure a Bulls victory, slotting over a drop-goal from bang in front – four minutes from time.
His effort spurred on the hosts and they finished with a flurry, as Foster provided a neat ball for Tom Olbison to add his name to the scoresheet.
Foster brilliantly converted the back-rower’s effort to maintain a 100 per-cent kicking record for the afternoon.
The victory sees the Bulls onto minus-two points, ahead of Friday’s trip to Humberside.
BULLS: Brett Kearney, Luke George, Adam Henry, Adrian Purtell, Jamie Foster, Danny Addy, Luke Gale, Manase Manuokafoa, Matt Diskin, Adam Sidlow, Chev Walker, Danny Bridge, James Donaldson, Elliot Kear, Tom Olbison, Adam O’Brien, Anthony Mullally.
TRIES: Gale (10), Sidlow (26), Addy (61), Olbison (79)
GOALS: Foster (4/4)
DROP-GOAL: Gale (1/1)
BRONCOS: Nesiasi Mataitonga, Mason Caton-Brown, James Duckworth, Thomas Minns, Jamie O’Callaghan, Ben Farrar, Josh Drinkwater, Olsi Krasniqi, Scott Moore, Nick Slyney, Matt Cook, Michael McMeeken, Alex Foster, Carl Foster, James Greenwood, James Cunningham, George Griffin.
TRIES: Minns (29), Cunningham (68)
GOALS: Drinkwater (2/2)
MAN OF THE MATCH: Anthony Mullally