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Full-time: Widnes Vikings 22 Bradford Bulls 18
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Widnes Vikings 22, Bradford Bulls 18
New owner Marc Green watched the Bulls slip to a close-fought defeat this afternoon in their first match since he assumed ownership of the club.
The Safeguard Security Group Ltd boss bought the Bulls from administrator David Wilson earlier this week and sat in the stands with new managing director Steve Ferres and chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul.
Green saw Francis Cummins’ side fall 16-0 down by the 35th minute after Jack Owens’ early effort was added to by a fine double from Kevin Brown.
But the sinbinning of Widnes centre Chris Dean for a foul on Tom Olbison saw the Vikings reduced to 12 men in the 38th minute and the Bulls immediately took advantage when Liam Sutcliffe crossed the line.
Elliot Kear added a second shortly after the restart and former Bradford winger Patrick Ah Van scored a fourth home try before Brett Kearney’s excellent individual effort set up a grandstand finish.
Victory would have seen Bradford climb off the foot of the table but instead they remain on minus two points, while Widnes claimed their fifth win from six Super League outings.
Into the last minute here... Widnes lead 22-18....
Attendance: 5,581... still 22-18 with five minutes remaining...
Gale's conversion has made it 22-18 with 13 minutes remaining...
66 mins... TRY for Brett Kearney who races past a tiring Widnes defence... game on again... 22-16 with kick to come...
62 mins... Addy OFF O'Brien ON...
61 mins... Oliver Roberts on for Manase Manuokafoa.... still 22-12...
55 mins... Walker back on for Mullally...
55 mins... James Donaldson on for Danny Bridge.... now 22-12 after Tickle converted Ah Van's try...
51 mins... TRY for Widnes as Patrick Ah Van finishes in the left corner after a mix-up in the Bulls' ranks...
Gale's superb conversion has made it 16-12.... GAME ON...
47 mins.... TRY for the Bulls as Gale's superb kick is grounded by Elliot Kear in the right corner... now 16-10 with the kick to come...
We are underway in the second half now... can the Bulls make their numerical advantage pay?
Half-time: Widnes 16 Bulls 6 - Bulls still in this despite Widnes' general dominance...
Gale converts to make it 16-6..... game on again...
38 mins... TRY for Bulls as Liam Sutcliffe crosses after Chris Dean is sinbinned for holding down....
Jack Owens, who has had a fine game, almost bursts through for a solo effort but he attempts to offload and the chance is spurned... still 16-0....
34 mins... TRY for Widnes as Kevin Brown does it again, sidestepping past Manuokafoa and Olbison for his second and Widnes' third try...
Widnes are defending very doggedly when the Bulls get into their 20...
For all the Bulls' industrious approach play, they have yet to create a clear opening...
Jon Clarke replaced by Lloyd White and earns warm applause for his 32 minutes on the pitch... still 10-0...
James Donaldson and Adam O’Brien replaced by Manase Manuokafoa and Danny Addy… still 10-0...
Tickle's conversion has made it 10-0....
24 mins... TRY for Widnes as Kevin Brown weaves his way through the Bulls defence all too easily....
22 mins... Danny Bridge replaces Chev Walker... still 4-0...
20 mins... Manase Manuoakfoa replaced by Anthony Mullally...
14 min... TRY for Widnes as Jack Owens goes over from close range after a short pass from Tom Gilmore... Tickle hits the post with the conversion attempt... 4-0 to the hosts...
Still scoreless after a balanced opening....
Pressure comes to nothing after Gale's kick is caught by Patrick Ah Van, setting Widnes on the attack... Bulls hold firm...
04 - First penalty of the game goes to the Bulls after Joseph is penalised for holding down...
Widnes on top in the opening stages....
Phil Joseph making his presence felt already....
New Bulls owner Marc Green has taken his seat in the stands alongside Steve Ferres and Robbie Hunter-Paul... kick-off just moments away...
2 Jack Owens
20 Paddy Flynn
14 Chris Dean
3 Cameron Phelps
5 Patrick Ah Van
6 Kevin Brown
27 Tom Gilmore
25 Alex Gerrard
9 Jon Clarke
23 Phil Joseph
12 Danny Tickle
17 Danny Galea
13 Hep Cahill
18 Paul Johnson
15 Lloyd White
34 Rhodri Lloyd
35 Paul Clough
CONFIRMATION of this afternoon's team line-ups... #BELONG http://t.co/wg3AHspzaE— @OfficialBullsRL 30 March 2014
Good luck to @OfficialBullsRL today! Hoping for 2 points #COYB— @Sarah_McCann1 30 March 2014
Guess the wash bags? #showpony & #councilspecial http://t.co/VDXlpdQyk2— @mattdiskin 30 March 2014
RT @OfficialBullsRL: THE boys have arrived and are out getting to grips with the 'i-Pitch'... #BELONG http://t.co/dHT7wRO9ws— @littleArcas 30 March 2014
Come on you bulls! We want zero! We was zero!— @Bulls1989 30 March 2014
Adam O'Brien will make his first-ever Super League start after being named as first-choice hooker in the Bulls’ line-up for this afternoon’s trip to Widnes Vikings.
The 20-year-old has previously made 21 appearances as an interchange in the sport’s top flight.
But with skipper Matt Diskin ruled out injured, head coach Francis Cummins’ has provided O’Brien with a chance to impress from the start.
In another first, for 2014 at least, Matty Blythe starts at second-row having made only one appearance thus far in First Utility Super League XIX.
Sam Wood maintains his spot on the wing, with goal-kicking talent Jamie Foster sidelined for the contest.
And, having missed the Bulls’ defeat to Hull Kingston Rovers last time out, Chev Walker returns to the front row.
Manase Manuokafoa, Tom Olbison and James Donaldson make up Bradford’s starting pack, with Liam Sutcliffe again partnering Luke Gale in the halves.
Brett Kearney lines up at full-back, alongside Wood, Elliot Kear, Adam Henry and Adrian Purtell, who complete the backline.
Danny Addy reverts to the interchange bench, where he is joined by fellow forwards Oliver Roberts, Danny Bridge and Anthony Mullally.
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