York City Knights V Bradford Bulls is always a fiery encounter and this was sure to be no different. York City Knights welcomed back Jack Teanby and Brandan Ohagan to the squad this week.
For Bradford they had the ever-present threat of Danny Brough in their ranks, a former York City Knights Legend kicking 265 goals while at the club.
The pitch had been controversially altered before kick-off and York would need to play on a much Narrower surface, something which proved a test at Dewsbury.
The Bulls fans were back in Odsal and were joined by a knight’s contingent of fans who would make up the 4000 people in attendance.
The game was set to be tight and York had a solid first set, they had set up prepared for the kicking presence of brough and Lilly and forced a mistake early on when Brough kicked out on the full handing York the ball from 20 metres out.
York put in a testing grubber kick and came close to the line but the ball dribbled out of play.
The Bulls utilised the restart and made vast yards up the pitch and scored the opening try catching York out for Joe Brown to score. This was converted by Danny Brough and Bradford lead by 6.
York kicked the ball off the tea from the restart and it hit the posts, handing the ball back to the knights. The knights forced a drop kick and capitalised on this, Ohagan kicking towards Dixon and from a tight angle Dixon put the ball down. His kick was just as good as his try, from outside he smashed the ball through the sticks and York were level.
Bradford applied the pressure next and kicked the ball high on the last tackle. The bulls put Dixon under pressure with a high kick and Dixon thumbed.
Bradford opted to kick and Brough made the scores 8:6. York were on there kicking game as well and forced another Bradford mistake when the ball found touch 20 metres from the Bradford line. Dixon put the wingers under pressure again and touched down but the ref deemed Dixon offside and the try was disallowed.
Bradford enjoyed the next ten minutes of pressure but the knights held firm and Bradan Ohagan found himself on the end of a loose ball. Ohaghan ran 60 metres and offloaded to Dixon.
Dixon was then hit by a huge challenge and tumbled ten metres from the line. The Bradford tails were up and from the opposing set they made yards.
Jordan Lilley wrong footed the knights defence and charged for the line scoring, the game was brought to 14:6 from Broughs boot.
York Knights were starting to loose there discipline and harsh words with a lines man lead to a penalty being given to the Bulls. Bradford opted to kick again and add the extras. It was 16:6 and the Knights needed to score next. York forced an error when Bradford dived on Ohagan, this lead to a scuffle and the ref gave York a penalty.
York worked the line and a deceptive pass found Atkins who charged in from 10 metres out. The scores were brought to 16:12 to the Bulls and it was game on.
It was becoming a real physical encounter on a hot summers day at Odsal, and the Bulls and York both fought hard for yards. One minute from the half Bradford got the better of York Ashley Golding driving hard at the line and pushing three York players aside. With the extras converted the knights trailed by 10. One minute later York would give away there 8th penalty
of the half which was converted by Brough York trailed by 2 scores at the half.
They would need to be more disciplined, York know Brough will convert from were ever he gets the ball and that could prove to be the difference. Fordy would have some words to say
at the half.
York started brightly and thought they had scored, Matty Marsh took the Ball from a good tackle on Joe Brown and dived in the score.
The ref deemed that the ball had been stripped and the try would not stand. York drove at the line minutes later good runs from Cuthbertson and Ohagan brought them close with no reward. York showed ill discipline again getting caught offside a poor defensive set led to Ross Oakes touching down. It did not look like
it would be York’s day they came close to the line but a handling error from Atkins denied a try scoring opportunity.
On 56 minutes York passed the ball from an attacking position, Rys Evans intercepted and ran 80 metres. Bradford were held out until the tackle, but Brough
opted to drop kick the ball, the score was now 31:12. York came close to the line from the restart but ill discapline again cost the knights a chance at the line
Chris Clarkson shoving a player when getting up to play the ball.
The Knights were struggling in the game and it was all Bulls for the next 5 minutes, York however won the ball back and a clever ball from, Lewis decoyed the defence for Clarkson to find a gap and dive for the line. The kick was converted by Dixon and York would need three more scores.
It was not to be and York found themselves on the backfoot with a high tackle and a knock on leaving the Bulls metres from the line. Danny Brough toyed with the defence minutes later putting up a stupendous kick for Joe Brown to catch and score. The Bulls were out of site and the score 37:18.
The Bulls brought the game to a conclusion and played well completing there sets and winning the game 37:18. Danny Brough was a huge factor in the winning he played smart and controlled the game, proving a different class. York will need to dust themselves down quickly and put in a big performance in order to get to Wembley against Swinton next week.