Bradford Bulls secured promotion to the Betfred Championship with an ill-tempered 27-8 victory over 12-man Workington at Odsal.
Castleford Tigers loanee Jy Hitchcox crossed for a hat-trick with further scores from George Flanagan, Joe Keyes and Dane Chisholm ensuring that John Kear’s side returned to the second tier of English Rugby League.
Elliot Miller scored the only try of the game for Workington, who had prop Fuifui Moimoi sent off ten minutes from time for a contentious high tackle on Bulls youngster Liam Kirk.
Leon Pryce’s side must now overcome Swinton Lions next weekend if they are to join the Bulls and fellow League One side, York City Knights in the revamped 14-team Championship.
Bradford came into the clash off the back of five wins, including a 47-0 win over Oldham RLFC last week, and started the game in ideal fashion as Jy Hitchcox capitalised on some quick hands to dive over acrobatically in the corner.
However, The Bulls were reduced to 12-men temporarily a short time later when second-rower Matt Garside saw yellow for dissent towards referee, Marcus Griffiths.
Workington did get their first points of the afternoon after 28 minutes as Carl Forber slotted a penalty over following a late tackle, but two tries in four minutes gave John Kear’s side some breathing space.
First, substitute George Flanagan dummied his way over from close range, before Joe Keyes raced through a gap in the Workington left and out-paced Tyllar Miller to the corner.
However, the Bulls failed to convert any of their three tries and were punished by the visitors 12 minutes after the interval when Elliot Miller collected Jamie Doran’s kick and raced under the posts, reducing the deficit to four.
With the game entering the final quarter, Hitchcox produced a spectacular second in the corner, before Dane Chisholm converted from the touchline to make it 18-8.
Chisholm added a drop-goal minutes later to rub salt into the wounds, before former New-Zealand international Moimoi was given his marching orders for his big shot on Liam Kirk.
With time running out, the Bulls capitalised on their numerical advantage as Hitchcox secured an acrobatic treble in the right corner, before Chisholm broke free from deep to round off a comprehensive victory for the hosts.
Bradford Bulls: McNally, Ryan, Gibson, Oakes, Hitchcox, Keyes, Chisholm, Kirk, Lilley, Crossley, Garside, Minchella, Wood
Interchanges: Green, Flanagan, Storton, Peltier.
Workington Town: Mellor, Hambley, Miller, Morris, Rooke, Doran, Forber, Wilkes, Penkywicz, Dickinson, Olstrom, Moore, Scholey
Interchanges: Newton, Curwen, Dawson, Moimoi