Newcastle Thunder’s fixtures around the Magic Weekend have become the unofficial curtain raisers for the event and tonight’s game against Bradford was full of Magic stories.
Bradford will have come into the game on a real high after confirming this week that Mark Dunning as their permanent coach after much speculation however this new era under Dunning who has been interim boss for some time started very badly as the Thunder hit Bradford with an early whirlwind. Jack Johnson scored after five minutes before Josh Evans doubled the lead having created the opener for Johnson.
Thunder led 12-0 after eight minutes. Things did get rocky when Alex Foster was sin binned for a controversial incident in which he made contact with the match official. But Newcastle would simply extended their lead with a penalty to make it 14-0.
However, it was game well and truly on as Bradford scored twice in a purple patch of their own thanks to Ryan Millar and David Foggin-Johnson.
Well and truly in the game, it would all unravel before halftime as Newcastle scored twice more through Jake Shorrocks and Wigan loanee Sam Halsall taking their lead out to 24-10.
If Bradford were still in the game at the break they were well and truly out of it when Jack Johsnon dived over in the corner just three minutes into the second stanza. Shorrocks then took his tally to 14 points for the night with the conversion.
The tries kept coming with Brad Day and Gideon Boafo scoring within minutes of each other before Josh Evans added a drop goal for good measure.
Alex Foster would then make amends for his earlier yellow card with a try of his own to take the lead out to 47-10. The half century was then reached by a scoot from Tom Forber as Newcastle put Bradford to the sword comprehensively ensuring Dunning’s first game after confirmation that he is the man to take the Bulls forward ended in disappointment.
Making things worse, it’s over 100 points conceded in just two games for Dunning’s men – there’s work to do for him and Brian Noble at Odsal.