IT DID not carry the emotion of the last win over Sheffield but it was a milestone result for the Bulls nonetheless.

The crowd at the Tetley’s Stadium was a fraction of the 7,531 that witnessed the 30-10 success in the last game at Odsal six months ago.

But those who scorned the chance of watching the action on their computer screen from the comfort of the armchair saw a significant two points banked.

The Bulls claimed their first Championship win at the third attempt at their temporary Dewsbury base – and made it back-to-back successes as their campaign begins to build some momentum.

Coach John Kear will have been just as chuffed that they also managed to “nil” Sheffield along the way.

It was an extra special night for 20-year-old academy product Brad Gallagher who scored his first two senior tries to set them on their way to an impressively hard-fought result.

Further scores in the second half from Brandon Pickersgill, Jordan Lilley, with a stunning solo dash, and Matty Dawson-Jones put the game to bed.

Kear had called for an improvement after the scratchy opening win the previous week and the Bulls certainly delivered in fine fashion.

Sheffield, like the Bulls, had got off the mark the previous week – though in a considerably more dramatic manner.

While Bradford effectively settled matters early with a triple try blast against Oldham before stepping off the gas, Mark Aston’s men had left it very late to take the spoils at Batley with the competition’s first golden point.

That extra-time victory came at a cost as Josh Guzdek and stalwart Rob Worrincy were added to an already lengthy injury list. So, it was a slightly patched-up line-up representing the club that Kear famously led to Challenge Cup glory in 1998.

But they did have all-time top try scorer Menzie Yere available for the first time this year after a knee problem. Not that his return made any difference.

Kear made three changes from the “game of two halves” at Bower Fold – all of them enforced.

Hull FC dual-reg duo Joe Cator and Jack Brown had gone back to their parent club – and Lee Radford threw in Cator, who looked impressive against the Roughyeds, for his competitive debut against Wakefield on Thursday.

And Dan Waite-Pullan was sidelined with the ankle ligament injury that is set to keep him out well into the season.

Liam Kirk, Adam Rooks and Tom Doyle were all recalled after sitting out last week.

Greg Johnson was also due to play in what would have been his 150th career appearance but was withdrawn by the Bulls just before kick-off. That meant Joe Brown kept his place on the right wing.

The tea-time kick-off at the request of the RFL’s Our League screenings inevitably meant a drop in the attendance figure of around 1,000 from last time.

But with Sheffield never bringing many, it was always going to be well down on the previous clash with well-supported Featherstone anyway.

The Bulls fans were in good voice straight away though as they claimed the first points on four minutes.

Sam Hallas was held up by the posts but Rowan Milnes then worked the ball out to youngster Gallagher who dummied his way over. Milnes improved with a confident kick from out wide.

It was the youngster’s first senior try – although the moment was slightly ruined when the match announcer gave it to Ross Oakes.

Sheffield came back strong to force a goalline drop-out but the Bulls rode back-to-back sets with their line intact. Pickersgill then showed safe hands to deal with Anthony Thackeray’s dab towards the posts.

But the Eagles were asking plenty of questions and Pickersgill and Milnes produced some defensive quick-thinking to avoid being pinned in their in-goal from another teasing kick.

Bradley Tagg bludgeoned his way towards the posts before the Bulls could wrap him up and then a wayward Eagles pass out wide relieved the pressure.

Lilley’s high kick caused confusion in the Sheffield ranks but Rhys Evans got buried as he ploughed towards the corner.

Gallagher’s night got even better just after the half hour, though, when he gathered Milnes kick through to run in his second try – and this time it was his name booming over the tannoy.

More diligent work in his own half from Brown snuffed out another Sheffield raid as the Bulls reached the hooter with a 10-point advantage.

Dawson-Jones almost had an immediate score after the re-start but Milnes’ kick was booted from his grasp as he dived for it.

Then Doyle was stopped inches short as he attempted to burrow in by the posts from dummy half. The conditions were making it really tough going as the rain hammered down.

But the Bulls continued to put in some determined defensive work and Sam Hallas earned a roar from the crowd when he body-slammed Tagg to force the ball loose 20 metres from the Bradford line.

Kear had praised the way the Bulls had withheld wave after wave of, admittedly, self-inflicted Oldham pressure in the second half last week. They were frustrating Sheffield in similar fashion.

Flanagan made his first appearance just before the hour in dazzling white – the only player not smothered in mud.

But the real eye-catcher was Milnes again and he turned provider for the third time with a clever reverse kick that set up the unmarked Pickersgill to score beneath the posts.

And the Bulls put the game beyond Sheffield with 15 minutes left thanks to a sensational individual effort from Lilley.

Aaron Brown knocked on near the halfway line and Lilley scooped up the loose ball and made light of the heavy going to canter home with two bedraggled defenders in tow.

A groggy-looking Kirk was helped off with a head knock in the closing minutes but it was Sheffield seeing stars again as another Milnes-inspired moment set up a fifth try.

His towering kick to the corner was claimed by the leaping Dawson-Jones at the second attempt to make the final outcome even more emphatic.

Man of the match

Rowan Milnes had a hand in four of the five tries, the first with a long pass and the other three with his feet. His kicking game was spot on in very testing conditions.

Moment of the match

Jordan Lilley picked up a loose ball and charged from the halfway line for a superb solo effort to make sure of the win.

Moan of the match

The inhospitable kick-off time may suit those watching online but it’s not a great sell for the fans in the ground.


The Bulls were forced into a late change when winger Greg Johnson had to pull out. Liam Kirk, Adam Rooks and Tom Doyle all returned after missing the Oldham game.

Game guide

Half-time: 10-0

Referee: Aaron Moore (Wigan)

Bulls – Tries: 5 – Gallagher 2, Pickersgill, Lilley, Dawson-Jones; Goals 4 – Milnes 4/5.

Penalties: Bulls 8, Sheffield 7

Goal-line drop-outs: Bulls 2, Sheffield 0

Attendance: 2,707


BULLS: Pickersgill 7; Brown 6, Evans 7, Oakes 6, Dawson-Jones 7; Milnes 9, Lilley 7; England 7, Hallas 8, Crossley 7, Rooks 7, Gallagher 8, Kirk 7. Interchange: Flanagan 6, Doyle 7, Scurr 7, Nzoungou 7.

SHEFFIELD: I Farrell 6; McComb 6, Bower 5, Yere 6, Millar 6; Brown 6, Thackeray 6; Wheeldon 6, Davey 5, Dixon 6, Davies 6, J Farrell 5, Tagg 7. Interchange: Burns 5, Broadbent 6, Ward 5, Mariano 5.