Bradford and Bingley 42 Huddersfield YMCA 17

When facing the league's bottom club, who are all but confirmed as relegated with half the season remaining, this fixture which launched the second half of Bradford and Bingley's 2019/20 campaign, could have had "banana skin" written all over it.

However, Hugh Gumbs' men are increasingly looking like a side who know what they are doing and will take some knocking out of their stride.

The Bees were definitely slightly rusty and not everything went exactly according to plan, but this was a comfortable enough win which keeps the Wagon Lane outfit in the middle of the North One East table but with the potential to climb into the top four in the coming weeks.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Bees will perhaps be disappointed to have let their lowly opposition get three tries on the scoreboard, but to be fair to the YMCA side, they never threw in the towel and kept trying to make of a game of it right to the final whistle.

The Bees ran in six scores themselves all converted by Lance Taylor, who is bringing a consistency to the kicking game that the Bees have only enjoyed twice before in the last two decades - firstly when Tom Rhodes was lining up the kicks at goal from around 2003 to 2009 and then when Gavin Stead was regularly knocking over the extra points at the start of the second decade of the century.

Unfortunately, Taylor picked up a nasty looking eye injury with ten minutes to play, when he tore a tear duct in an accidental tangle with a YMCA player. The injury required surgery, but Taylor is confident he will be back on the paddock in time for the Bees visit to leaders York on February 1.

At one point earlier in the season, the Bees appeared to have become obsessed with taking on every opponent head on in a forward dominated encounter.

However, over the last few games, there has been a better balance and the Bees have started using the pace and power of their three quarters to good effect. Jamie Martin seemed to go whole games without a pass, but is now very much involved in setting up the attacking platform, along with centre partner Semisi Maasi.

Martin and Maasi are both big muscular players who like to run a very direct line and both were rewarded with scores; Maasi getting the score board moving in the tenth minute and Martin picking up score number six in the sixty seventh minute.

Jack Malthouse added the second five pointer in the 26th minute and as the Bees had that 14 point lead, there was perhaps an expectation from some Bees supporters that the home side would now pull away from their visitors. It was not to be as the YMCA defensive line held firm and their own efforts with ball in hand were duly rewarded as the clock ticked into the final minute of the half as Harry Garside dotted down.

Hayden Quigg added the extras and it looked like the sides would be going in at half time separated by only a single converted score. However, Bees skipper Tom Booth had other ideas and in first half injury time, he was able to extend the Bees advantage to two scores and the sides turned round at 21-7 in favour of the hosts.

Complementing the pace and power of the Bees centres, Maasi and Martin, is the ability to get over the gain line of the Bees flankers, skipper Booth and blind side flanker Heimuli Tauffa in his first season at Wagon Lane.

Tauffa has quickly become a firm favourite of regular supporters whether burrowing into rucks and mauls on defensive duties or generally being a menace with ball in hand.

After Booth had closed out the half with a score, it seemed fitting that Tauffa should get the first score of the second period as he crashed over after 47 minutes to also secure the four try bonus point.

Whether the Bees took the foot off the gas after that score or whether YMCA were suddenly galvanised, the Bees could not capitalise further and right on the hour mark, substitute Jacob Priestley pulled a score back for the visitors. Any notion of a Huddesrfield comeback was then quickly dispelled as the youngest member of the Bees squad, Sam Murphy, scored his first ever try in Bees colours in the 63rd minute followed swiftly by Martin's score on 67 minutes.

At 42-12 with around 13 minutes to play, the Bees clearly had the game won, but just as young Murphy was getting his score, the Bees front row at that point had a combined age of 126, with Roger Raper, Andy Smith and Ryan Wederell on the field together, a record which will possibly be broken at some point next season when the same three reappear having still not hung up their boots.

Liam Haines ran in a final consolation score for the visitors in the 69th minute, but it was the injury to Taylor a minute later which provided the talking point in the clubhouse after the final whistle.