MUCH-changed Horden endured another difficult afternoon when they conceded a half-century at Bradford & Bingley.
Head coach Glenn Bowman was forced into three alterations before the side even left Horden following a few cry-offs and the club’s injury jinx them struck again with Andrew Turner and Newton Turton forced off inside the first quarter.
At 36-0 down at the break, it was looking as though the score could get out of hand, but the collierymen dug in.
“Given the score, the lads were really up against it but they deserve massive credit,” Bowman said. “They never gave up working for each other and showed real character to keep fighting all the way to the end.”
Bradford went 10-0 up with a converted try from a catch and drive followed by a penalty.
Horden took the game to B&B and made some decent ground from forward drives with skipper Paul James leading from the front.
But Horden couldn’t keep hold of the ball and they were made to pay when the Bees broke quickly out of defence to score a second try to make it 17-0.
To make matters worse, Horden lost Turton and Turner to injury which meant Alex Key came into the back row and flanker Adam Lowe, who was making his debut, had to play an hour on the wing.
Bradford scored their third try when the winger chipped ahead, regained the ball and touched down. Two more tries made it 36-0 at half-time.
The Bees added two second-half tries, one from an away clearance kick, the second when Horden simply ran out of numbers after multiple phases late on.
Horden deserved a score in the second half and almost got it when Dave Heckles engineered an opportunity to put Carl Oliver through a gap. He was pulled down with only the full-back to beat and while the visitors recycled well, they mishandled and missed out.
Ross Brymer made some great cover tackles at full-back, while Dave Heckles, Andrew White and Oliver put in big shifts. Up front, the outstanding James was man of the match with Carl Brown providing able support.