Rugby League: Medley on song for Northern

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Bradford Northern. . . .28

Wakefield Trinity. . . .10

BRADFORD NORTHERN maintained their championship momentum, but only at the beginning and the end of an entertaining match was their superiority over Wakefield Trinity as marked as their league positions suggest.

A league programme in which Wigan, Warrington and Bradford never seem all to play on the same day has taken on the nature of a job- share with the three clubs taking it in turn to go to the top of the table.

Last night looked like being Bradford's turn from the moment, 100 seconds into the game, that Gary Spencer dropped a kick from Deryck Fox he should have taken comfortably and Darrall Shelford dropped on the loose ball for a try.

Trevor Clark's pass to Neil Summers 11 minutes later led to Fox's second goal and Northern were 12 points up. But Bradford were then guilty of forcing a pass too many in a series of promising attacks and Henry Paul brought them down to earth with a try and a goal.

Wakefield, with a battle of their own to wage at the other end of the table, drew encouragement and improved their tackling immeasurably. They could do little, however, about a brilliantly taken Paul Newlove try immediately before half-time.

Taking David Watson's pass standing still, Newlove waved the first couple of passes past like a matador and then exploded through the rest to the line.

Wakefield, with the richly talented young Paul constantly involved, were by no means deflated. Some constructive play early in the second half could have been rewarded even before their captain, Dave Woods, scrambled in after tapping the ball over the tryline from the play-the-ball.

Wakefield were within eight points and Bradford could not be certain of returning to the top of the table until Paul Medley forced his way over with 14 minutes to play.

David Heron's exchange of passes with Watson brought Bradford another try with Fox's fourth goal making the final margin a deceptively comfortable one.

Bradford Northern: Watson; D Powell, Shelford, Newlove, Kebbie; Summers, Fox; Grayshon, Clark (Medley, 40), Hamer (Heron, 40), R Powell, Dixon, Fairbank.

Wakefield Trinity: Spencer (Hanlan, 54); Christie, Mason, Flynn, Wilson; Paul, Conway; Durham, Fuller, Glancy, Bell, Woods, Slater (Brown, 68).

Referee: J Connolly (Wigan).