Whitehaven 16 Bradford 32: Williams at the double to rescue Bulls’ blushes

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DANNY Williams scored twice in the last 10 minutes as Bradford Bulls survived an uncomfortable afternoon to claim their 11th straight Championship win.

The former Leeds Rhinos winger struck in the left corner after Whitehaven showed impressive spirit to overturn the Bulls’ 16-0 lead to draw level at 
16-16 by the 49th minute.

Danny Addy then struck with 15 minutes remaining before Williams scored a brace to finish the Cumbrians off, but this was not a match that head coach Jimmy Lowes and his players will remember fondly.

Two tries from Adrian Purtell and another for Lee Gaskell had the visitors 16-0 up.

Purtell twice finished off well in the left corner and Jay Pitts then sent Gaskell bursting clear from 30 metres out.

But the Cumbrian hosts, inspired by the contribution of Tyla Hepi, roused themselves in spectacular fashion and tries from Scott McAvoy and Connor Holliday made it 16-10 at the break.

They were no more than Whitehaven deserved.

James Newton’s try then levelled things up nine minutes after the restart when he burrowed over from acting half.

At 16-16, Bradford were staring at serious humiliation against the Cumbrian part-timers but their class gradually told as Addy scored from Adam O’Brien’s pass and Williams then bagged his brace.

Tyla Hepi and Pitts were also sinbinned for fighting in the 
second half as tensions mounted in a game which saw the Bulls finally claim the victory they so craved.

Head coach Lowes said: “It’s always tough up in Cumbria when you play Workington, Whitehaven or Barrow.

“They love getting stuck into the opposition so fair play to them and fair play to our boys because we came out on top.”

Whitehaven: Lepori, Chamberlain, Holliday, Hulme, Calvert, Aiye, Gore, Davies, Coyle, Walker, Hepi, McAvoy, Allen. Substitutes: Beaumont, Brooks, Fox, Newton

Bradford Bulls: Shaw, Williams, Purtell, Henry, Uaisele, Gaskell, Addy, Clough, O’Brien, Sidlow, Olbison, Mellor. Substitutes: Lauaki, Ferguson, Baile, Fleming

Referee: W Turley (RFL).