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Beaten Bees still seeking consistency
Sandal 27, Bradford & Bingley 12
The mystery of why Bradford & Bingley cannot sustain a performance for 80 minutes continues.
This was an SSE National League Three North game that was there for the winning if Henry Paul's men could have turned their first-half momentum into points and then kept the foot on the gas after the sides turned round.
The pack had an upper hand from the off, and Adam Malthouse claimed a five-pointer with six minutes played.
Malthouse, his skipper Brett Mitchell and front-rower Jason Moss all bumped and barged to good effect, and the Bees game-plan to take route one into the heart of the home defence was paying dividends.
Sandal notched a penalty back but on 12 minutes James Morton, a significant battering ram in the centre, increased the Bees advantage with a try, Tom Bills adding the conversion.
Bradfrord & Bingley looked to have their hosts rattled but, playing down the slope, the visitors needed to turn possession into points but as the game wore on a catalogue of unforced errors kept the Bees from the line and Sandal in the game.
Wingman Jake Mulhearn made the game interesting with a try for the hosts, and with Ian Jackson improving the score with the conversion and then slotting his second penalty, the home side were 13-12 in front in a game which their visitors had largely dominated.
The pattern of unforced errors from the Bees continued and the cost of those was amplified as it is a difficult slog uphill and field position can change by 60 metres in an instant as a clearance kick can sail a great distance back down the slope.
Too many Bees attacks foundered because players became isolated and the ball turned over, and Sandal grew in confidence as the half wore on and they were rewarded with two tries in the final 15 minutes from John Warwick and James Stewart, both converted by Jackson.
The defeat sends the Bees into the bottom two and nudges Sandal back towards the higher end of the table.
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