Bradford Bulls recovered from defeat last week to beat local rivals Keighley Cougars 22-18 at Tetley’s Stadium in Dewsbury.
It was the Bulls who took the lead after just five minutes, as Thomas Doyle spotted the gap, and got over. Danny Brough converted for a six-point advantage.
Just three minutes later, Bradford doubled their advantage as Brough managed to get through the defence and score his first try for the Bulls. He then converted his own try.
Just before the half-hour, Keighley got back into it as Charlie Graham picked up a loose ball and raced half the length of the pitch to score. Jack Miller converted to half the deficit.
Three minutes later, the Cougars were back level. Billy Gaylor supported the runner after a high ball and went over. Miller added the conversion.
That was the way it stayed going into half time.
Bradford struck first in the second half, just two minutes in. Ross Oakes finished off a good Bradford move out wide. Brough was off-target with the conversion this time, meaning they led by four points.
The game was then paused as Keighley fullback Alix Stephenson recieved treatment for a nasty injury. Head Coach Rhys Lovegrove said he had dislocated his ankle, and his family have said he will have an operation on a broken leg.
When the game got back underway, it was Bradford who scored again as trialist Anthony Walker managed to crash his way over the line. Billy Jowitt converted for the Bulls to put them ahead by 10.
However, Keighley were not done and pulled another back through Graham’s second try of the match. He found a gap and scored, after the Cougars had forced a third straight set on the Bulls’ line. Alfie Seeley scored the conversion.
They tried to find that leveller, but couldnt quite do it, leaving Bradford to claim victory.
Bradford’s competitive season starts next week as they travel to Featherstone Rovers for a Challenge Cup match.
As for Keighley, they face the daunting task of a trip to London Broncos to open their competitive season.
Bradford Bulls: Brandon Pickersgill, Reece Hamlett, Rhys Evans, Ross Oakes, Elliot Wallis, Joe Brown, Danny Brough, Anthony Walker, Thomas Doyle, Dan Fleming, Brad Gallagher, Brad England, Adam Rooks.
Subs: Ebon Scurr, George Flanagan, Levy Nzoungou, David Foggin-Johnston, Jordan Lilley, Jack Sanderson, Billy Jowitt, Bradley Ho, Steve Crossley, Brad Calland, Joe Burton.
Head Coach: John Kear.
Keighley Cougars: Quentin-Laulu-Togagae, Mo Agoro, Taylor Prell, Charlie Graham, Robert Matamosi, Billy Gaylor, Jack Miller, Dan Hawksworth, Ryan Wright, Brenden Santi, Jason Muranka, Dan Parker, Kieran Moran.
Subs: Jack Coventry, Kyle Kesik, Dalton Desmond-Walker, Aaron Levy, Alfie Seeley, Alix Stephenson, Matthew Bailey, Ben Stead, Bobby Darbyshire, Jack Arnold, Zack Braham, Morgan Robinson, Aidan Scully, Phoenix Laulu-Togagae, Josh Slingsby.
Head Coach: Rhys Lovegrove.