6th April 2014

LUKE GALE bagged a hat-trick of tries in a superb, man-of-the-match winning performance as Bradford Bulls demolished Oldham to progress through into the fifth round of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup.

New chairman Marc Green watched from the stands as Francis Cummins’ men ran in 11 tries to record a 60-6 victory and reach the last 16 of the competition.

Gale contributed 28 points, with eight successful conversions and his trio of tries, while Elliot Kear bagged a brace.

It took the Bulls just six minutes to get on the scoreboard.

Gale’s bomb forced a drop-out and, from the resulting set of six, the scrum-half darted through the Roughyeds’ backline to touch down beneath the uprights.

The home side then scored twice – in less than two minutes –  as the quarter-hour mark passed.

Young hooker Adam O’Brien broke the line 40 metres out and found Brett Kearney in support, who crossed over under the sticks.

From the kick-off Bradford made their way up the field and it was Gale who found the line again.

Kear blazed down the right hand edge before feeding the 25-year-old, who grabbed his second of the afternoon.
The visitors responded with their only try of the game, courtesy of substitute Kenny Hughes on 23 minutes.

And the scores remained locked at 18-6, until two minutes from the interval when Kear claimed a try following an instinctive break from Dale Ferguson.

Shortly after the restart, O’Brien crashed over from close range before Danny Addy also scored from dummy-half out wide to put 30 points between them and the Championship One outfit.

Adam Henry then got his fourth try of the season, Kear providing the assist again just before an hour played.

Henry returned the favour to wingman Kear, sending the Welsh international in the corner for his second try of the afternoon less than two minutes later.
Prop Manase Manuokafoa almost forced his way over for a try on 64 minutes but spilled the ball over the line.
The Bulls eventually reached the half-century mark when substitute Jamie Foster dived over in the corner on 68 minutes.

In the last five minutes there was still time for Gale to seal his hat-trick and for Ferguson to get in on the action, with a score on his competitive debut.


BULLS: Brett Kearney, Sam Wood, Adrian Purtell, Adam Henry, Elliot Kear, Danny Addy, Luke Gale, Manase Manuokafoa, Adam O’Brien, Chev Walker, Dale Ferguson, Matty Blythe, James Donaldson. Subs: Jamie Foster, Jamal Fakir, Oliver Roberts, Nathan Conroy.

Tries: Gale (6, 19, 75), Kearney (17), Kear (39, 58), O’Brien (44), Addy (47), Henry (56), Foster (68), Ferguson (77).

Goals: Gale (8/11).


OLDHAM: Tom Whitehead, Mo Agoro, Ben Wood, Sam Gee, Dale Bloomfield, Lewis Palfrey, Brett Robinson, Michael Ward, Danny Whitmore, Jason Boults, Josh Crowley, Danny Langtree, Mark Hobson.  Subs: Phil Joy, Paddy Mooney, Kenny Hughes, George Tyson.

Tries: Hughes (23).

Goals: Palfrey (1/1).


REFEREE: Chris Leatherbarrow