Bradford Bulls 6 - York City Knights 4

BAD lighting ended another battling game between Bradford Bulls and York City Knights as John Kear’s men captured a 6-4 win in his side’s last friendly of the season.

Referee Liam Staveley decided to bring the players off the pitch, minutes from the end, with the fading light causing huge issues to the half-floodlit pitch.

Connor Robinson received his marching orders for allegedly throwing a punch in a huge brawl which erupted shortly before the early finish.

That is two wins from five for the Bulls who can definitely take some encouragement going into what promises to be a tough Betfred Championship campaign.

Will Jubb got over the line seven minutes in from a good phase of play, however he was denied opening the scoring by Liam Kirk and Steve Crossley putting their bodies between ball and ground.

Adam Rooks made an amazing challenge soon after to earn his fellow teammates praise, although Bulls wasted the possession by throwing over David Foggin-Johnston’s head out left.

The Knights almost reached Bulls’ try line on a few occasions, Matty Marsh and Ben Johnston combining well before the ball petering out from a York boot.

Bulls aimed for Foggin-Johnston after good play from Kirk lead to Rowan Milnes’ kick which was well caught by the away side.

Kear brought on Levy Nzoungou who immediately conceded a penalty but Brandon Pickersgill, who caught well throughout at full back, used great handwork to stop Connor Robinson’s kick through.

Milnes failed to find Foggin-Johnston again just before the break throwing it out into touch, frustrating the Bulls faithful.

However, anger was soon turned into jubilation when Ross Oakes broke superbly, sprinting down the left before handing it to Foggin-Johnston to do the rest.

Jordan Lilley booted over to give his side a slight lead at the start of the second period.

Matty Marsh almost reduced the deficit after the break before dropping the ball on the Bradford try line after good play from his teammates had got him in down the left side.

The pressure mounted on the youngsters, conceding a concerning fourth penalty on the bounce, which led to another last-ditch tackle.

York’s fast hands gave Will Sharp two chances to level the try tally, firstly good defence halted him over the whitewash before an audacious leap higher than some of his opponents narrowly missed the scoring zone.

As the match entered its final phases, Bulls tried their best to hold on, fending off Jack Teanby’s drive after Will Jubb played creator.

The hosts defence was seized upon when Robinson fired a pass over the top to Elliot Wallis who dived over.

The scrum half could not level the score though with his tough kick going wide of the sticks, it still set up an exciting ending though.

This finale was abruptly stopped though with both lighting and wrongdoing causing the match to end early.

Havoc was originally caused when a scuffle kicked off in Bradford’s territory. Robinson and Johnston were penalised for being involved in the scrummage.

Staveley finalised by giving the former a red card and the latter a yellow, meaning York would end the game with only 11 men.

A couple of minutes after that event with the crowd roaring the Bulls on, another stoppage was caused.

This time Nzoungou was involved before the referee blew his whistle to signal the end of the game.

The announcer declared that the issue was bad lighting which previously frustrated the York boss James Ford pre-match with the lights not working in the visitors’ changing rooms.

Kear should be proud of his young Bulls’ second-half display where they battled well against a strong Championship side; plenty of hope to take into next week’s curtain-raiser against London Broncos.

Bulls: Pickersgill, Johnson, Brown, Oakes, F-Johnson, Milnes, Lilley, Bowden, Doyle, Crossley, Rooks, Gallagher, Kirk, Berry, Shackleton, Nzoungou, Ho, Scurr, Foster, Hodgson, Race, Leadbeater, Butterworth, Smith, Vaznys, Green, Culling, Jowitt, Stephenson

York: Marsh, Wallis, Bass, Salter, Sharp, Johnston, Robinson, Green, Jubb, Clarkson, Washbrook, Scott, Spears, Teanby Stock, Porter, Hey, Baldwinson, Jordan-Roberts, Towse, Harrison

Referee: Liam Staveley

Attendance: 932