Bradford & Bingley keep survival hopes alive

Bees’ Richard Tafa celebrates a try with Benny Greaves. Pictures: John Ashton

James Morton hands off an opponent to score

First published in Sport
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Bradford & Bingley 35 Beverley 20

For the third game in a row, the Bees ran in five tries and looked a far better side than their current lowly league position suggests.

The upturn in form over recent weeks means the Wagon Lane side can still hope to pull off their own version of The Great Escape with three games remaining.

Victory in all three would almost certainly see them home but, with their nearest rivals facing possibly tough-er run-ins, the Bees can probably hope to stay in this division if they can pick up two wins and claim bonus points in all three games.

The opening quarter of an hour belonged almost exclusively to the visitors and the Bees hardly saw the ball as Beverley whipped the ball from one side of the field to the other. However, the home defensive line stood firm.

It seemed their possession must eventually lead to points and, just as the first quarter was up, there was enough of a gap to the right of the posts to allow Beverley to squeeze in for a converted try.

It did not take the home side long to respond. As a move up the left in midfield broke down, Benny Greaves suddenly jinked into space and burst into open field to the right of the maul.

The injection of pace going back across the drifting defence put Greaves clear and, as the final defenders closed in, a deft pass to his right saw James Morton taking possession and hurtling in to touch down in the righthand corner.

The Bees were clearly picking up the tempo and, on 27 minutes, a stray pass bounced past a Beverley player and straight into the arms of Richard Scull, who galloped 60 metres for the five-pointer. Scull converted the score and added a penalty on 33 minutes to match a similar strike from Beverley to leave the half-time score 15-10 to Bingley.

With the Aire Valley throwing all sorts of weather down the pitch, the visitors should have done more with the elements at their backs.

Almost immediately, Scull extended the home lead to 18-10 with a penalty and then Richard Tafa pounced on another wayward pass and galloped home.

Tafa had time to indulge in a cheeky wave at the Beverley full back as he ran clear to the posts. Scull added the extras.

Beverley pulled the score back to 25-15 before hooker Alex Keeton injured his neck in a maul and the game was stopped for nearly half an hour.

When the game restarted, Morton intercepted a stray pass and zipped a well-timed pass inside for Scull to jog home unopposed.

The conversion was added before Beverley pulled a try back.

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