TWO tries in the five minutes before the break tipped the West Yorkshire derby in Bradford’s favour as they ran out 18-4 Summer Bash winners over Halifax at Bloomfield Road.
The Bulls struck through Ryan Shaw and Adrian Purtell to break a 35-minute stalemate against a Halifax side who again belied their part-time status and relatively modest playing budget with a high quality performance.
Halifax went close, first through young full-back Ben Johnston, then centre Chris Taylor, before hooker Ben Kaye was held up over the line.
Gradually though, Bradford’s strength started to tell with the Bulls first dominating territorially and then on the scoreboard. As so often this season, half back Lee Gaskell was the dangerman.
The former St Helens player had already gone clear once by the time he engineered successive breaks for full-back Shaw in the minutes before half time, Shaw finishing the first one himself and putting the second on a plate for Purtell.
Shaw converted both for a 12-0 lead that was harsh on Halifax, but still a perfect illustration of the difference in quality.
Halifax emerged from the dressing rooms like a scalded cat though and within four minutes they were off the mark, centre Ben Heaton applying a super finish to Scott Murrell’s pass wide on the right.
The conversion was missed to leave the score at 12-4 and Halifax needed a great tackle from Dane Manning to hold Gaskell up over the whitewash.
Purtell grabbed a second on the 60-minute mark, Addy converting for 18-4, and although Halifax went close through Saxton, who had a try ruled out for a foot in touch, they never got close enough to threaten an upset.
Bradford: Shaw; Williams, Purtell, Henry, Uaisele; Gaskell, Addy; Clough, O’Brien, Olbison, Pitts, Mellor. Substitutes: Lauaki, Crossley, Baile, Mendeika
Halifax: Johnston; Saltonstall, Heaton, Taylor, Saxton; Murrell, Craven; Ambler, Kaye, Cahalane, Divorty, Manning, Robinson. Substitutes: Moore, Maneely, Barber, Dickinson
Referee: J Cobb (RFL).