A disappointing display from the Buffaloes saw them crash 30-20 at Birmingham Bulldogs in Saturday’s LHF Healthplan National League 3 game at Moor Lane.
A patched up Bramley side headed south with a complete new back line and it showed as the hosts exploited the gaps and defensive slips to clinch victory.
Chris Gardner opened the scoring for Bramley on 9 minutes with a penalty but the Bulldogs hit back within three minutes with a double try blitz. On 21 minutes Buffaloes debutant Paul Cummings, a recent signing from Milford, rounded off some impressive approach play to reduce the deficit with a touchdown in the corner.
On the stroke of half-time Birmingham extended their lead to 16-6 with a try under the posts but the Buffaloes stayed within a score as winger Kieran McDermott grabbed a try on 46 minutes finishing off some good work by stand off Amraz Hamid to make it 10-16
The Bulldogs’ stand off Adam Cawley was the difference between the teams and he notched the first of his two tries on 52 minutes taking full advantage of some lame defence from Bramley.
The visitors hit back with two tries in six minutes. The livewire former international Ikram Butt claimed the first on 56 minutes as he darted through from 15 yards out. Gardner converted and shortly after Cummings grabbed his second try of the game after a bulldozing run from Tim Orr.
That made it 22-20 to the Bulldogs and it looked set for a tense exciting finale until Cawley once again bamboozled the Buffaloes defensive line to score on 66 minutes and he added a penalty on 71 minutes to seal a victory that sees Birmingham leapfrog Bramley into fifth spot.
Bramley coach Phil Hellewell was disappointed with his side’s first defeat in 4 starts: “We made far too many mistakes with the ball in hand and gave possession away far too often. Our penalty count was also a cause for concern.
“Birmingham kept punishing our mistakes and after the first penalty we were always playing catch up with the Bulldogs staying a few points out in front.
“There were a few glimpses of what we could do and I was delighted with Paul Cummings who came in at centre to grab a brace of tries. He played with a refreshing confidence.
“We played in patches but those patches we not long enough or effective enough to take the points and we have to get our heads down and work hard this week with Hemel Stags at home next Sunday.
“The Stags are on an impressive run and they’ll present a very real threat. We want to see as many Bramley supporters down as possible to Stanningley to cheer on the side as that will make a very real difference to our play-off hopes,” added Phil.
Bramley’s injury list continues to grow with Shaun Flynn out for a month with an ankle injury and Neil Foulds also on the sidelines for four weeks with a knee injury.