Dewsbury Rams produced a superb effort as they gave Bradford Bulls a huge scare before slipping to a 22-18 defeat last Sunday.
The Rams put recent below-par performances behind them as they went close to ending Bradford’s 14-match unbeaten run.
The Rams produced an excellent defensive display, especially in the first half, when they kept the full-time Bulls scoreless at rain lashed Odsal.
The Rams put Bradford under- pressure, forcing mistakes by the joint Championship leaders.
The match was scoreless for the opening 35 minutes when Dewsbury stunned the Bulls with the opening try.
Byron Smith drove the ball in and handed on to scrum-half Anthony Thackeray, who shimmied through a gap before twisting his way over to plant the ball down.
Half-back partner Brett Seymour added the conversion and the Rams led 6-0 at half time.
Rams coach Glenn Morrison would have been delighted with his side’s efforts as the former Bulls favourite returned to Odsal for the first time as a head coach.
It was another former Bull who extended the Rams lead five minutes after the re-start when rangy centre Karl Pryce gathered an excellent kick from full-back Kieran Hyde to crash over.
Seymour added the conversion and the Dewsbury contingent among a near 4,000 crowd were daring to dream of a famous win.
Dewsbury managed to keep Bradford at bay until the 51st minute when the Bulls responded with a spell of pressure which resulted in Adam O’Brien’s long pass sending centre Adam Henry striding over to pull a try back. Ryan Shaw converted.
Six minutes later, Jake Mullaney broke through and sent Adam Purtell racing over on the left and Shaw levelled matters with his second goal.
All was to play for going into the final quarter but it was Bradford who struck a decisive blow in the 67th minute when Danny Addy reacted to a loose ball and pounced to score. Shaw converted.
Purtell crashed over for his second try six minutes from time to give Bradford breathing space at 22-12.
The Rams refused to lie down and Dale Morton collecting another kick from the impressive Hyde to score.
Hyde took over the kicking duties and converted but the Rams ran out of time as Bradford held on to secure a 15th straight victory which keeps them joint top with Leigh.