Derek Beaumont column: Bulls draw was worthy of big stage

Cory Patterson in action against Bradford
Cory Patterson in action against Bradford

Well the roller coaster ride I feel like I’ve been twisting and turning on certainly hit a high and low on Sunday with our visit to Bradford.

I managed to get across ahead of kick-off and took the vantage point from behind the sticks, high up just in front of a bar serving up Bulls bitter and two-pint cups of lager.

I decided on the latter and took my place with the family and fellow board member Steve Openshaw and his family.

I have to say I was encouraged by, and greatly appreciated the kind-hearted comments by the many fans who approached me and my family, offering their support and appreciation for my investment to the club.

It certainly makes it more worthwhile to see people appreciating and enjoying it.

I was quite nervous about the day and had considered avoiding it – but in the end I just couldn’t not go and support the lads.

Despite being backs to the wall and low on numbers, with players putting their hands up out of position and with pain-killing injections, I was sure that they were up for it and would certainly battle hard.

Jukesy had kept me abreast of the week’s training and was very positive with the boys’ application.

I relaxed a little as we started to have some banter when my mum showed me a picture she had just had with a Bradford fan, who had my face mask on that must have been left behind from last season.

He was shocked when he learned it was my mum and was quick to move on!

We had a laugh discussing all the possibilities of what may have happened to them – most not fit for printing here – but it passed the time to kick-off.

The game was great and not just for 65 minutes, although it is those 65 minutes that I draw a lot of confidence from as, during that period, we had kept Bradford to one breakaway try from an error – and that despite being on the wrong end of the penalty count.

What was pleasing was the way the game was allowed to flow and credit should be given to not only the referee Richard Silverwood, but both sides for competing in what for me was certainly worthy of a Super League fixture and well supported by both sets of fans.

The difficulty both sides will face is that the pace won’t be that all season for us and that is where the middle eights becomes a step up.

Bradford got a roll and success from kicks and we were sinking fast, but I am completely confident that Jukesy and the boys can fix that up.

So all in all, whilst the boys are inevitably disappointed with the 32-32 scoreline, it is good that we are still seeking that complete performance and as the weeks tick by we get players back.

Over the weekend I managed to secure the services of two loan players Richie Owen (Wakefield) and Lewis Charnock (Saints) who will give us the required number of bodies and bring some competition for places.

This season it is already evident that the Championship is going to be really competitive, with a number of teams genuine contenders for the top four.

Our result against Batley certainly got put into perspective with them beating Halifax away, having also claimed Sheffield and a very narrow defeat away to Featherstone.

Our win against Oldham looks well, with them turning Dewsbury over and competing well at Featherstone.

London also continued their winning form after our victory over them so I am confident that we are actually in a good place and we will keep building that momentum. Our travelling support was again magnificent and that is what makes it all worthwhile.

On Sunday we are back at the LSV with a tough fixture against Sheffield, who are full-time this year and looking strong. Its also Mother’s Day so be sure to bring your mums along for an action packed, fun day out.

Sunday also saw my son Rocky – who has just turned six – play his first game of rugby league for Golborne Parkside Pirates against Ashton Bears. He played alongside Jet Weston, son of our prop forward Dayne Weston.

Somewhat bizarrely that also ended in a draw of seven tries each. It was two evenly-matched Under-7s squads playing the game for the first time, producing some entertaining rugby league . Golborne went into an early lead on the back of some ferocious defence in the first quarter.

Ashton came back in the second quarter and the game went back and forth ,ending in a fair result of 7-7.

The highlight try was the try going through hands for Golborne’s speedster Ethan to go over in the corner – not something normally seen at such an early stage of playing the game.

There was a debut try in the corner for Golborne’s ‘international signing’, young Aussie Jet Weston.

Ashton had their own quality players – notably double try-scoring Juliet and powerful running Harvey, who also put himself about.

But it was a young lad called Ben who took Ashton’s man of the match, whilst Sean Fletcher took the honours for Golborne.

With Luke Pierrs the best defender, and best attitude awards going to William ‘the tank’ Smith and my boy Rocky Beaumont!