BRADFORD Bulls finished their away campaign in frustrating fashion after being beaten narrowly by Widnes Vikings 10-9 at the DCBL Stadium this afternoon.

At the death, Widnes fullback Jack Owens produced a stunning moment, scoring a penalty kick from the half-way line to wrestle the points back off the away side.

It came shortly after returning man Danny Brough had put Bradford ahead with a sublime drop goal.

Overall, a frustrating afternoon for the Bulls with a third-placed spot in their own hands and now they know that only other results can secure that finish.

On the plus side, the away side were able to hand out debuts to Eldon Myers and Elliot Kear, the latter who recently arrived from Salford as he replaced the injured Brandon Pickersgill.

But it was Widnes who started the better out of the two sides, coming out the blocks in relentless fashion. Despite being five places below Bradford, Widnes looked much the better side in the opening half and were lucky not to be more than 6-0 up at the interval.

Bradford couldn’t materialise much going forward and lacked a creative instinct, however when they were presented with an overload on the left-hand side they were guilty of throwing the ball forward – a recurring theme of the first half.

The hosts did manage to capitalise on their early dominance on minute 17 when Jack Owens went over after a brilliant kick by Danny Craven.

On the fourth, Craven produced a fantastic grubber kick, which split open the Bulls backline before Owens pounced and touched the ball down to score a converted try.

If it wasn’t for some resilient Bradford defending and poor Widnes handling, the away side may have found themselves further behind but the slippery conditions may have worked in Bradford’s favour after a couple of Widnes fumbles close to the line.

The Bulls looked to have levelled the scores on minute 23 when David Foggin-Johnston went over in the corner after some brilliant work from Lilley and Oakes.

Lilley moved it quickly to the left where Oakes was waiting, but the latter’s final pass to the winger was alleged to have been forward.

Not long after, an almost cut copy of the incident before occurred again. Some quick interchange between Brough, Lilley and Oakes saw Foggin-Johnston almost found but once again the pass was deemed forward.

After the interval, Bradford came out looking much brighter, potentially with Kear’s half-time words still ringing in their ears.

On minute 48, Joe Brown looked to have made a clean 50-yard break from his own half but just as the 4G turf started to open up, the winger slipped at the key moment.

Only a minute later, Bradford finally had their first points on the board.

A brilliant kick by Danny Brough on the sixth split the Widnes backline wide open and Lilley collected to go over under the posts shortly before converting.

It was then time for Bradford to take the lead five minutes later.

The away side won a penalty but instead of taking the six, Lilley opted for the two-pointer to ensure the game was turned on its head.

After taking the lead, the momentum swung in favour of the away side and Bradford’s attack seemed to have clicked into gear but unfortunately for them, Widnes fought valiantly to keep them out.

And with 14 minutes to go, the hosts were rewarded with a penalty of their own and the ever-reliable Owens stepped up to level the scores – and did exactly that.

As the clock ticked down, both sets of fans were pushing their sides to secure the victory with a drop-goal, and the players obliged.

Unfortunately for Bradford and in particularly Jordan Lilley, the number seven had three attempted drop-goals charged down and inevitably blocked.

But with one minute from time, the ball was worked to Danny Brough in space and he unleashed a sublime drop-goal attempt to send the Bradford fans into raptures and his side into a 9-8 lead.

However, the drama wasn’t finished yet.

Dan Fleming was penalised for a tackle on a Widnes man and in dramatic fashion, Owens stepped up from 50 yards out to send the ball over the posts to secure the hosts a spirited victory.

Bradford return to action next Sunday in their final fixture of the league campaign as they host Whitehaven.

They will be looking to go out with a bang before they turn to the season-defining play-offs.