Bradford Bulls 26 Salford City Reds 30
By: Nigel Roberts.
The Reds travelled to Yorkshire hopeful that they could gain revenge for the 0-7 win by Bradford at the Willows in February. The Reds chances were boosted by the return of Ray Cashmere after a long lay-off with a rib injury.
The Reds also this week announced that Matty Smith had signed a two-year contract. The hosts though earlier in the week parted company with coach Steve McNamara and announced on Friday that current St Helens coach Mick Potter would take over from next season.
Salford started brightly when a Matty Smith break almost brought a try for winger Jodie Broughton.
A few minutes later Broughton did score though with a thrilling 90 yard effort when he burst clear close to his own line and outstripped the Bulls defence on his way to the try line. Daniel Holdsworth converted from under the posts for a 0 – 6 lead.
Three minutes later Karl Fitzpatrick hoofed the ball upfield for a great 40/20. The Reds used the position to great effect when the ball was quickly moved to the right for Steve Tyrer to cross in the corner. He rounded in to touch down near the posts to give Holdsworth a simple conversion (0 – 12).
In the 15th minute the Bulls scored a neat try when veteran former Aussie international Steve Menzies followed up a Danny Addy grubber kick to score. Addy was unable to add the goal points (4 – 12).
With almost half an hour gone the Reds stretched their lead when a break on the right spearheaded by Ashley Gibson led to Holdsworth lofting a perfect kick which Stuart Littler gratefully received to touch down. Holdsworth added a terrific conversion to put the Reds firmly in the driving seat at 4 – 18.
In the 35th minute sloppy Reds defence enabled Vinny Finigan to score an easy try. Addy converted for a half-time score of 10 – 18.
In the 48th minute the Reds went further ahead when Jeremy Smith split the Bulls defence wide open to send Fitzpatrick sprinting over under the posts. Holdsworth again converted (10 – 24).
Six minutes later the Reds scored again when Broughton skipped through the first line of the Bulls defence and veered round would be tacklers to score. Holdsworth added the extras to give Salford what looked like a winning margin of 10 – 30.
The Bulls though had other ideas and with just ten minutes left on the clock managed to claw their way back into the game.
In the 70th minute gradual Bradford pressure brought a try for Stuart Reardon in the corner. Two minutes later the Bulls scored again when Salford were caught dozing at the restart and Elliott Whitehead crashed over to score and in the dying minutes a pass from former Reds starlet Michael Platt sent Finigan in for his second try. Addy added two conversions to leave the Reds clinging on for a desperate 26 – 30 win in which they came perilously close to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
The win was Salford’s first at Bradford for twenty-three years and long overdue. Coach Sean McCrae was pleased with the result but not the last quarter of the game: “It should have been clinical at 30-10, I’ve just given the guys a real pat on the back for efforts in that respect but I can’t ignore the last 15-20 minutes.
“We really took our foot off the gas a bit but that’s in no way disrespectful to Bradford, they played catch-up, they had momentum and were playing stronger. When it got to 30-26 I thought ‘here we go, this is a game we don’t deserve to lose’ but I think overall we were probably the better side and deserved to win the game.”
McRae was quick to single out Broughton for special praise: “He’s quite a handful and is getting better, stronger and more confident all the time. He showed great pace for both of his tries. Today he came up with two special tries.
“But the team as a whole deserves credit for the effort and work they put in.”
Salford: Fitzpatrick,Tyrer,Gibson,Henry,Broughton,Holdsworth,M Smith,Cashmere,Alker, Neal,Sibbit,Littler,Swain.
Referee: Mr I Smith
Due to problems with spam only SalfordOnline members can now leave comments. Becoming a member of SalfordOnline only takes a minute, just hit the red Join Us button at the top right hand side of the page to create your Personal account.
Got a news story? Need help with publicity for an event in Salford? Send it to email@example.com or call the SalfordOnline newsdesk on 0161 789 5377.