Dewsbury Rams came closer than any other side to ending Bradford Bulls‘ 14-game unbeaten run in the Kingstone Press Championship, but the Bulls just had too much late on as they ran out 22-18 winners at Odsal.
After an attritional first half, Rams’ Anthony Thackeray opened the scoring on 36 minutes before Karl Pryce forced his way in shortly after the interval. Brett Seymour added both conversions to hand the visitors a 12-0 lead.
With the scores locked at 12-all as the game entered the final 15 minutes, Bradford’s superior fitness proved crucial as Danny Addy and Purtell scored late tries, meaning Dale Morton‘s score with three minutes to play proved to be a consolation.
In a tempestuous clash, which saw Gareth Hock sin-binned twice, while Jamie Acton and Tom Lillycrop were both dismissed, Leigh began the stronger of the two sides, going 10-0 up after nine minutes following a double from Adam Higson.
But John Kear’s men roared back with converted tries from Wayne Reittie and Alistair Leak handing the hosts a 12-10 lead after 50 minutes.
However the ‘Dogs, who had played London on Wednesday, began to tire in the closing stages, with Higson completing his hat-trick, either side of a Jake Emmitt try, to seal the win.
After a tight start, Rovers cut loose with a quarter of the game played as Jy Hitchcox and Paul Sykes went over to hand the visitors a 12-0 lead.
Sykes was in fine form with the boot, kicking eight goals to help rack up a personal haul of 20 points.
In South Yorkshire, London continued their fine recent form with a comfortable 30-4 win over Doncaster.
Ben Hellewell and Liam Welham traded early tries, with Elliott Minchella going over on 37 minutes to hand the Broncos a slender 10-4 lead at the interval.
After a tight start to the second half, the Broncos broke clear in the final quarter, Hellewell completing his hat-trick either side of a Rhys Williams score.
On Saturday, Sheffield Eagles battled past a spirited Whitehaven side to move six points clear of fourth place with a 26-16 win.
However, Mark Aston’s side stuck to their task and tries from Scott Turner and a second from Taulapapa sealed the Eagles’ 13th win of the season.
Finally, on Friday night, Halifax moved up to fourth in the table following a last-gasp 14-8 win over Hunslet Hawks at the South Leeds Stadium.
The Hawks began well and held a 6-0 lead at the break courtesy of Richie Barnett’s converted try on 17 minutes.
Dane Manning made it a perfect start to the half for Fax with a try on 42 minutes, but Jordan Lilley kicked a penalty goal to make it 8-6 to the hosts shortly after.
The Hawks, who sit eighth in the table, held their slender lead until the closing stages when Ben Johnston crashed over to silence the home crowd and seal the win for Fax, before Steve Tyrer made it three goals from three attempts with a late penalty.