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Rossendale 19 Bradford and Bingley 7
Rossendale kept up their impressive winning streak with another excellent victory against difficult opposition.
Overnight rain had made the playing surface sticky and this didn’t help the general flow of the game. Handling errors were numerous but both sides made a fist of it.
Rossendale opened the scoring when Leyton Taylor powered over and fly half Steve Nutt added the extras.
But the try came against the run of play as Bradford played with more vigour, throughout the half, and threatening Dale’s line despite playing up the slope.
Nevertheless it was the home side who managed to put more points on the board, with Nutt executing an exquisite cross field kick for left wing Alistair Harper to find the final touchdown.
Nutt landed the conversion but the turnaround saw Harper withdrawn with an injury picked up in scoring his try.
The reshuffle in the back line saw Roger Dennison move to the wing to allow Will Sharratt to come on and fill the full back berth.
A 12 point lead was always going to be difficult to defend playing up the slope, but Dale dug deep and despite their ‘first up’ tackling being weak, they kept the visitors at bay – only allowing them a converted try when their powerful blind-side back row forward smashed through the defensive line. At 12 -7 the next score was going to be crucial.
Ian Marshall replaced Taylor in the front row as Dale slowly gained territorial advant-age and minim-ised their mistakes. Dale continued to showed great adventure despite the poor conditions and were rewarded with a try from centre Varnie Van Zyl who went under the posts when taking a reverse pass which Nutt converted.
The closing stages saw Rossendale finish the stronger and push for the fourth try and with it a bonus point.
It didn’t come but the final whistle saw the Valley side take a step nearer the heady heights of top spot.
Dale are on their travels on Saturday when they travel across the Mersey to take on Birkenhead Park.