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Home comfort as Bradford & Bingley break Wagon Lane duck
Bradford & Bingley 17 Stockport 13
The Bees put together their most cohesive display of the season to claim their first home victory of the season.
Success was founded on solid defence and the control exerted in midfield from stand-off Nick Wainwright and Richard Tafa inside him. Tafa was his usual bustling self with ball in hand but was fearsome in the tackle, while Wain-wright pushed the Bees into good field possession with astute kicking.
The Wagon Laners trailed 10-0 but, with their pack establishing a solid platform in the tight exchanges, the hosts were soon on the scoreboard as winger James Morton reached the line to answer the opening score from Stockport hooker Paul Millea.
Stockport stuck to their game plan of running the ball from everywhere but the Bees’ more structured approach saw them controlling territory and possession to good effect.
The power of the pack laid the platform for the next score as skipper Brett Mitchell burrowed over. With Tom Bills tacking on the extras, Bingley had a two-point advantage at the break.
The second half continued in much the same way as the first, with the visitors trying to use every inch of space to run at the Bees defensive line, while the Bees took a more conservative approach and kept the ball close to their pack, also using the boot of Wainwright or Tafa to push Stockport back towards their own line.
On 46 minutes the Bees suddenly exploded into life as Suka Hufanga made an intial break, slipping the ball to Ben Greaves who in turn fed winger Sam Hesketh some 30 metres from the line.
The young winger still had a lot to do as two Stockport defenders closed in but neither had the pace to catch him as he scorched over for his first senior try at Wagon Lane.
That was the final score of the afternoon but, with more than 30 minutes to play, the improvement in the Bees defensive alignment was evident as Stockport were held to their lowest score of the season.
The Bees will hope the win marks the turning point of this difficult season.
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