Eagles beaten in Bradford
Sheffield Eagles’ flourishing form took a hit on Sunday as they were beaten 32-18 by Bradford Bulls at Odsal.
The Eagles were 20-0 down inside as many minutes and couldn’t recover from such a deficit.
They got to within eight points of their West Yorkshire counterparts on two occasions but couldn’t put a further dent into the Bulls’ advantage.
Joe Arundel opened the scoring for Bradford inside two minutes, Dec Patton converting.
George Flanagan Snr, alongside a Patton conversion, doubled the hosts’ lead with a trademark effort from dummy-half on the last.
A Patton penalty goal put Mark Dunning’s men up by three scores but things got even better for the home crowd when Tom Holmes sauntered over on 16 minutes. Patton was on hand once again to add the extras for 20-0.
Sheffield got on the scoresheet through Jesse Sene-Lefao as the back-rower burrowed his way over from close range. Cory Aston converted his first of three goals.
Former Bull Matty Dawson-Jones finished a sweeping move to the left flank and with Aston’s conversion, the Eagles were within eight after 32 minutes.
But an handling error in the restart set gifted Bradford territory which they wouldn’t pass up on. Holmes’ grubber kick was touched down by Liam Tindall. Patton couldn’t convert but even without that, Sheffield had their work cut out going into the second period.
Half-time - Bradford Bulls 24-12 Sheffield Eagles
A Patton penalty goal early into the second half made the Bulls fans breathe a tad easier but Sheffield weren’t going down without a fight.
Sene-Lefao’s second try of the afternoon, backed up by Aston's conversion, meant the visitors were closing in on Bradford. However, they wouldn’t get any closer on the scoreboard despite heavy pressure inside the Bulls half.
Holmes completed his brace seven minutes from time to seal victory for Bradford.
Full-time - Bradford Bulls 32-18 Sheffield Eagles
By Dan Fowler, photo by Paul Whitehurst