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Bees show improvement in second outing
National League Three North Bradford & Bingley may not have won a pre-season game yet but there was genuine improvement in their second outing.
They followed up their 48-0 defeat at National League Two North Darlington Mowden Park two weekends ago with a 33-26 loss at home to Stockport, another Two North outfit, on Saturday.
“I know it sounds a bit bizzare,” said Bees’ head coach Stuart Dixon, “but we haven’t done much rugby work so far.
“We have been concentrating for a lot of July on fitness work.”
Dixon added: “We managed to scrape together 21 players to go to Darlington and play four 20-minute periods, whereas they had 40-odd players, including colts and new signings.
“We were quite strong in the forwards but every time we turned over ball it seemed as if they scored a try as we were weaker in the backs.”
The chief worry for Mowden Park was the fractured ankle suffered by debutant centre Craig Dominic.
The Bees gave debuts at the weekend to centre Michael Robertson and second-rower or back-rower Adam Malthouse from Otley in a game of three 30-minute periods.
“We picked up a ‘losing bonus point’, so to speak,” said Dixon, “and you could see the progress we have made in a week.
“Adam is good in the line-out, is a good ball-carrier and is sound defensively, while Michael is also a good ball-carrier and is good defensively.”
The Bees wind up their pre-season with another home fixture on Saturday, facing Keighley with the Peter Harrison Memorial Trophy at stake.
Keighley were visited by Huddersfield YMCA in a hastily-arranged friendly and were beaten 50-7 on Saturday.
Leigh Sugden got the try and Alex Brown the conversion against the Yorkshire Division One side but more worrying were the injuries to Sam Walker (suspected broken leg), Ollie Sugden (hip) and Jake Hill.
Keighley, who have signed Adam Sutcliffe from Huddersfield, continue their pre-season by entertaining Bradford Salem tomorrow night (7.15).
Former Keighley Cougars and Otley first-teamer Sam Gardner is in Salem’s squad, as are Wibsey Warriors rugby league duo Andy Robinson and Karl Walker.
Salem's first-team manager Neil Klenk said: "Andy will play at fly half is a goal-kicker, while Karl can play anywhere in the backs, but will probably be centre or wing."