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Depleted Bradford & Bingley in second-half fade-out
Percy Park 45, Bradford & Bingley 15
A rash of injuries and unavailabilities rather forced the hand of Bradford & Bingley's director of rugby Henry Paul when he selected his side for the trip to the north east.
Debutant Josh Greenfield, who is a hooker primarily, took to the field at scrum half, and with both first- choice centres absent, winger James Morton lined up at outside centre.
This shuffling of the side appeared to be having no detrimental effect, however, as the Bees took the lead with their first possession, prop Ryan Wederell reaching the whitewash.
That advantage was shortlived, though as the home side started to hit an attacking rhythm, with both forwards and backs playing some intelligent rugby.
Although the hosts had the upper hand, it was not all plain sailing for Percy Park as both Bees wingers managed to show well, with Adam Wellington becoming one of the most consistent performers for the Wagon Lane side this season.
On the opposite flank, Sam Hesketh was unlucky not to register his first score in a senior shirt, having bumped and barged his way to within inches of the line.
Greenfield did manage to cross the whitewash before half-time and as the sides turned round, it was 23 15 and the visitors were very much in the game.
However, the Bees seemed to lose confidence rapidly after Percy Park ran in a couple of quick scores after the break and as the clock ticked on, any hopes of the visitors scoring four times or climbing to within seven points of their hosts seemed increasingly remote as Park increased their grip on the game and the Bees appeared to run out of attacking ideas.
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