Bradford & Bingley 38, Rugby Lions 25

The electronic scoreboard still hadn't been put back into action after last season's storms and club secretary Nick Patterson was doing a passable impression of Norman Collier on the public address system on Saturday.

But the rugby - at least for most of the first hour - was more like that which was served up before last season when the Bees had such a torrid time of things in National League Two.

Bradford & Bingley went into a 28-0 lead after 46 minutes and looked good for the bonus point as well as the win on their return to National League Three North.

But back came the Lions to reduce the deficit to 31-25 by the 79th minute.

However, the best move of the match in injury time resulted in No 8 Sione Onesi making a break down the middle and off-loading perfectly for fellow Tongan, full back Richard Tafa, to catch and use his pace to score the all-important fourth try.

With Tom Rhodes' conversion again accurate, not only was the win in the bag but also the bonus point.

The modest Tafa, who has been playing for Derby and Hertford in the two seasons that he has been away from the Bees, said of his part in an excellent try: "I always try and support the player with the ball and that is how I got that last chance."

Explaining why he came back to Wagon Lane was simple. "I married a local girl, Melissa," said the 27-year-old.

And as to why he was playing at full back rather than in the centre or on the wing, which is where he could normally be found in his previous spell with the Bees, Tafa said: "I used to play full back at school but I haven't played there for three years - when I was back home.

"We worked together well as a team but as for that last 20 minutes maybe some of us thought that we had already won the match and we let the opposition team come back, but we are trying our best to go straight back up."

While memories of last season's results and the travelling that the matches involved are still painful, it was a good start to the Neil Spence-Carlos Hassan era.

The Bees had a stiff breeze in their favour blowing down to the Dowley Gap end and it only took them eight minutes to take the lead.

A well-weighted kick to the right corner by Rhodes bounced once and was gathered by right winger Ali Chalmers, who scooted over.

Rhodes added the conversion and a penalty five minutes later after a player from both sides had been sin-binned - flanker Jon Barker (Bees) and scrum half Sam Viggers.

Two more Rhodes penalties went unerringly between the posts before the Lions lost flanker Wilf Barclay with an Achilles injury.

A long pass from centre Matt Simpson, who formed an impressive unit with Stuart Dixon, put Barker in for an injury-time try and, although Rhodes hit an upright with the conversion attempt, 21-0 was still a handy interval lead with the wind in Rugby's favour in the second half.

Strong running from Dixon and a break by Simpson put left winger Mark Kirkby in for a home try six minutes after the restart, Rhodes again tagging on the extra two.

But then Rugby came alive after what their web-site called "a poor, misdirected and complacent display".

No 8 Shaun Brady twice went over, Viggers crossed and with full back James Hawken adding two penalties and two conversions to a single penalty from Rhodes, the great comeback looked very much on with the Lions trailing by only six points going into injury time.

However, Onesi's break and Tafa's support play nipped that revival in the bud and sent the Bees off in decent heart after beating Rugby in a match the visitors had targeted if they were to finish in the top two.