Late Sykes goal seals famous Rams cup win

Dewsbury Rams players celebrate their win over Bradford Bulls last Friday.
Dewsbury Rams players celebrate their win over Bradford Bulls last Friday.

Dewsbury Rams dumped Bradford Bulls out of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup, winning a thrilling fourth round tie 31-30 last Friday.

With the sides level entering the final five minutes, half-back Paul Sykes held his nerve to slot over the winning drop goal and seal a famous win for the Rams.

Bradford made a bright start and took a ninth minute lead when Danny Addy ran at the defence, spun in a tackle and kicked for winger Omari Caro to gather and dive in at the corner.

Dewsbury responded brilliantly and grabbed three tries in 13 first half minutes to turn the game in their favour.

Sykes produced a lovely long pass which Dalton Grant latched on to score, with Sykes converting to edge the Rams ahead.

Bradford were hampered by injuries to Rhys Lovegrove and Kris Welham and the Rams took full advantage.

The impressive Sykes regained possession for the Rams, gathering a Bradford kick before driving at their defence. Josh Guzdek moved play wide for Dale Morton to score, with Sykes converting.

Morton then produced an acrobatic finish to round off another Rams attack and Sykes’s third conversion extended their lead to 18-4.

Bradford hit back when former academy player Joe Lumb scored his first senior try for the Bulls and Addy converted.

Bradford reduced the half-time arrears to two points when Addy spotted a gap in the defence to cross just before the hooter and landed the goal.

Dewsbury made a strong start to the second half and Nathan Conroy slipped a pass out for Jack Teanby to carry two Bulls defenders over the try line to score after 45 minutes and Sykes landed the goal.

Although Lovegrove and Welham were unable to return for Bradford, the visitors again responded as Mitch Clark broke through and sent Matty Blythe racing over to score. Addy’s conversion attempt hit the post.

Tom Olbison squeezed over for a 57th minute try and Addy converted to edge the Bulls 26-24 ahead.

Bradford looked to have scored a decisive try when Blythe spun in a tackle to touch down but the Rams fought back as a Sykes kick through rebounded off a post, into the arms of Aaron Brown to score, with Sykes’s conversion levelling. Sykes then landed the winning drop goal to spark jubilation among his teammates and Rams supporters.