27th April 2014

BRADFORD BULLS staged a sensational Tetley's Challenge Cup fightback to see off Catalan Dragons 33-20 and book their place in the quarter-finals.

Francis Cummins' men looked dead and buried following a one-sided opening quarter, with the visitors bagging three unanswered tries.

But the Bulls fought back, as Jamie Foster bagged two tries, kicked five from five conversions and landed a match-winning penalty goal to mark a successful comeback in the red, amber and black.

The visitors made a solid start, however, with Daryl Millard crashing over in the corner on two minutes. William Barthau was unable to add the extras.

Catalan extended their advantage, shortly after, when Ben Pomeroy touchdown for Barthau to this time convert.

And the hosts slipped even further behind as a dropped ball was pounced upon by former Bull Olivier Elima, making it 16-0.

Bradford were starring down both barrels, as the half-hour mark approached.

The Bulls battled back bravely, though, and their response was kick-started when Lee Gaskell grabbed a superb score on 28 minutes, diving onto a Luke Gale grubber into the in-goal area.

Jamie Foster improved from bang in front and the wingman was called into action, again, on the 34-minute mark, to add extras to his first try of the match.

It came courtesy of a Lee Gaskell chip kick and the former St Helens star was celebrating his second score – in as many minutes – as his ex-Saints team-mate provided him with a miss pass.

He again added the extra two points – from the touchline on this occasion – to hand Bradford the lead for the first team, with the scoreboard reading 18-16.

Bradford picked up from where they left off after the interval, with half-back Gale darting over to extend the hosts' lead following a fantastic Tom Olbison break.

The young back-rower galloped 40 metres, before being tackled just short to put the Bulls in a try-scoring position.

Adrian Purtell added to the visiting Dragons' woes, easing over for the Bulls' non-successive score.

Catalan replied with what proved a consolation try, 13 minutes from time, as Michael Oldfield galloped over out wide.

But it was the Bulls and Foster who had the last laugh and the final say, with the three-quarter landing a late penalty goal – taking his points tally to 20 for the afternoon – to ensure a memorable victory for the Provident Stadium outfit

Scrum-half Gale added icing to Bradford's Challenge Cup cake, hammering over a last-gasp drop-goal to seal a 13-point triumph.

BULLS: Brett Kearney, Elliot Kear, Luke George, Adrian Purtell, Jamie Foster, Lee Gaskell, Luke Gale, Manase Manuokafoa, Matt Diskin, Jamal Fakir, Jay Pitts, Danny Addy, Chev Walker, Adam Sidlow, Adam O’Brien, Tom Olbison, Adam Henry.

TRIES: Gaskell (28), Foster (34, 37), Gale (43), Purtell (57)

GOALS: Foster (6/6)

DRAGONS: Morgan Escare, Michael Oldfield, Ben Pomeroy, Vincent Duport, Daryl Millard, Leon Pryce, William Barthau, Oliver Elima, Eloi Pellissier, Julian Bousquet, Zeb Taia, Elliott Whitehead, Jason Baitieri. Subs: Louis Anderson, Lopini Paea, Benjamin Garcia, Joan Guasch.

TRIES: Millard (2), Pomeroy (9), Elima (13), Oldfield (67)

GOALS: Barthau (2/4)


HALF-TIME: 18-16

FULL-TIME: 32-20