Lancashire Wolverines celebrated their first win under head coach Simon Purcell with a 19-12 victory against Birmingham Bulls at Blackburn Rugby Club.
Both teams traded early blows but it was the visiting Bulls who opened the scoring with a touchdown run, taking full advantage of good field position.
Their extra point attempt was however blocked by the hosts who broke through the away team’s protection to smother the kick.
The Wolverines soon countered largely thanks to an outstanding individual series by Luc Kinder.
The receiver first made an acrobatic close to the left sideline, somehow preventing the ball from hitting the ground.
He then broke behind the opposition’s cornerback only to be pushed out of bounds yards short.
The Wolverines found their equalising score when quarterback David Mead again found Kinder, who reeled in the touchdown catch.
The Wolverines offensive line protection was holding up sufficiently well enough for Mead to continue to deliver passes.
Midway through the second quarter he found receiver Sam Bloomfield who superbly pulled down a catch over the competing cornerback before cutting inside from the right sideline and fighting his way towards the goal-line.
Mead himself ensured the go-ahead points were scored when he kept the ball to rush up the middle of Bulls defence.
This gave the Wolverines a 12-6 lead at the break.
In the third quarter the two teams continued exchange jabs but neither side could find a breakthrough.
Finally, the hosts were able to extend their lead, Stuart Robinson contributed rushing yards to an effective offensive series which was again capped off by Mead – the quarterback punching the ball in on the ground for his second touchdown.
Dave Barnett proceeded to add the extra point with an accurate kick.
The Bulls fought hard to claw their way back into the game but on consecutive series failed to capitalise on sustained drives, although they finally found their second score late in the fourth quarter when running back Aamir Hussain knifed through the Wolverines defence.
However, their attempts to secure a two point conversion were foiled linebacker Jack Watson important tackle.