Bees lack usual buzz while Sandal hang on

Bradford and Bingley can have no complaints about a 31-18 defeat against a Rossendale side who had the upper hand in every department but the scrum.

Right at the death a superlative break from Brett Mitchell almost rescued the losing bonus point for the Bees but unfortunately the ball dropped out of his outstretched hand as he reached for the line.

There were some positives the Bees can take from this game; Matthew Robinson played well at full-back and always looked for a gap as he joined the line and Matthew Cochrane played well making his debut at hooker off the bench.

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The Bees played down the slope in the first half and Guy Ford ploughed over for his 12th score of the campaign, Robinson slotting the conversion. He also kicked a penalty as the Bees trailes 13-10 at the break.

The hosts took charge in the second half with Bradford’s only consolation a try from Ford.

Sandal made hard work of their trip to Percy Park but did enough to complete a 15-8 victory.

Sandal led 12-3 at the break thanks to two powerhouse tries from lock Austen Thompson; Greg Wood converting the first.

But they had to wait until five minutes from time to seal the win with a penalty from Wood.

Harrogate were below-par in defeating bottom side West Hartlepool 29-8.

Harrogate’s first try came from Noel Minikin after West’s possession had been turned over and creative back play opened a gap.

West scrummaged adequately but they had little else to offer. Callum Irvine, Sam Bottomley and James Audsley-Beck all showed flashes of brilliance and Kyle Dench was at his imperious, physical best.

Prop Jimmy Browne crashed over for the second try. Pete Wackett then made a dazzling break, the ball was shipped right and Heaton was in support to score.

Dench crashed over before hooker Steve Maycock scored their fifth try.

West’s consolation try came in the final move of the match from Colin Cheslin.