BRADFORD Bulls Academy fell to a late 20-12 defeat at the hands of Castleford Tigers at Odsal Stadium.

A fast start saw Keelan Foster crash over from close range before a brief Tigers response.

Matthew Race then re-established Bradford’s advantage as Leigh Beattie’s held a slender lead at the break.

Two Castleford tries in the final quarter saw them steal the spoils from a tightly-contested second half.

Our Academy side went into the clash on the back of a narrow defeat away at Leeds Rhinos last weekend and raced out of the starting blocks looking to return to winning ways.

Foster proved too much for the visiting defence to handle from close range – powering his way over to break the deadlock.

The home side then held firm as the Tigers looked to fight their way back into the clash before their resistance was eventually broken on 24 minutes.

Bradford would not be deterred, however, and quickly set about restoring the lead as Race somehow managed to touch down despite the attention of three Castleford defenders.

With the half-time hooter fast approaching, the visitors went over for their second try of the contest but could not convert, handing Bradford a half-time advantage.

Neither side could trouble the scoreboard in a tight third quarter with Beattie’s side looking to strengthen their grip on proceedings.

A on-pitch fracas saw both teams reduced to 11 men temporarily and the visitors took advantage, kicking the resulting penalty and scoring two late tries to edge a tight affair.

Bradford Bulls Academy: Alfie Goddard, Murphy Smith, Ryan Butterworth, Sam Smith, Kieran Brining, Matthew Race, Harry Shackleton, Ebon Scurr, Lochlan McGill, Keelan Foster, Isaac Coleman, Vytas Vaznys, Bradley Gallagher. Interchanges: Ethan O’Hanlon, Leyton Heywood, Cameron Berry, Daniel McGrath.

Tries: Foster, Race

Goals: Shackleton 2/2