Saints recover to seize late victory

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The Independent Online
St Helens 36

Bradford Northern 27

St Helens consolidated third place in the Stones Bitter Championship with a dramatic victory over Bradford last night.

Northern, rocked by disciplinary problems this week, looked set to put their troubles to one side when they led 27-26 thanks to a drop goal from the scrum-half, Deryck Fox, nine minutes from time.

With David Myers and David Watson both banned for four months this week for failing to provide drug samples and the coach, Peter Fox, fined £500 for a gesture to the fans against Featherstone last month, it had had been a bad couple of days for Northern.

However, there was more agony for the club when Chris Joynt crossed the line seven minutes from time and Bobby Goulding's sixth goal from eight attempts opened up a 32-27 lead.

Then hooker Keiron Cunningham skipped over for his second try two minutes from time to send Bradford slipping to their fifth defeat in the last six League matches.

Bradford trailed 12-0 after seven minutes, conceding a controversial try to Alan Hunte and a Steve Prescott touch-down.

But they hit back to lead 20-18 at half-time thanks to tries from Paul Newlove, Paul Dixon and Trevor Clark, with Fox kicking four goals. Saints' other try before the break came from Mark Elia.

Newlove, making a comeback after seven weeks out with a groin injury, crossed for Northern's only try in the second half but Saints went over three times, Cunningham scoring a crucial touch-down in the 58th minute before the dramatic finale.