AN ill-disciplined York City Knights side fell to a 37-18 defeat against rivals Bradford Bulls at Odsal Stadium.

Bradford were on top of the contest for large periods and talismanic half-back Danny Brough led them around the park and ultimately to a sixth straight league win.

The Bulls did though benefit from York’s consistency at giving away penalties and the Knights struggled to get a foothold in the game as a result.

Having had some epic previous encounters with Bradford over recent seasons, this was the largest margin of victory for either in the modern era.

For the first time in almost two months, James Ford was able to call upon both Brendan O’Hagan and Jack Teanby, with the half-back and prop forward respectively returning from injury problems.

Liam Salter and Danny Kirmond also came back in for York, with Riley Dean, James McDonnell, Tyme Dow-Nikau and Ronan Dixon all dropping out.

York have been plagued by injury concerns all year, but they now finally seem to be overcome. Tim Spears is the only Knights player that has any short-term issue. On paper, this looked the strongest side York have selected all year.

It was positive too for Bradford on the team news front too, as they included Huddersfield Giants loanees Oliver Wilson and Ashton Golding for the first time off the bench.

All the talk in the build-up had surrounded the regulation-breaking narrow Odsal pitch and it seemed to show on the field early on when ex-Knight Brough kicked out on the full.

But Bradford quickly found their feet in the next attacking set as, on the back of a brilliant Dan Fleming offload earlier in the set, Brandon Pickersgill threw a cut-out pass which Joe Brown seized upon and Brough then converted his first of eight goals.

York had a slice of fortune in their equaliser moments later as Dixon’s restart bounced off the post and back to Knights hands.

From it, O’Hagan grubber forced a repeat set and the returning Australian then chipped wide for Dixon, with very little room to play, to ground in the corner.

Dixon scored his first of three conversions to level the scores at 6-6.

Bradford went back in front as Brough showed his enduring class with a typically monstrous spiralling bomb, which Dixon dropped and then York were caught offside. Brough added the easy goal.

Dixon twice had chances to redeem his drop but could not take either of them. First, the winger was caught offside from another O’Hagan kick to the flank.

And then, the Knights broke clear from a misplaced Bulls pass near their line but Dixon could not hold on in the tackle in the Bradford danger zone.

The Bulls quickly turned their two-point lead into ten, primarily off the back of some poor ill-discipline from York.

A set that began with a six-again for Bradford ended with a neat step over the line from half-back Jordan Lilley.

Minutes later, back-to-back Bradford penalties, the latter given for dissent by Mikey Lewis, allowed Brough to add to his previous conversion.

York managed to get themselves back in the game before half time, with Bradford this time the guilty party over discipline.

They were camped on their line after two penalties and a six again, and the pressure eventually told. A lovely show of strength and footwork from Ryan Atkins saw him twist over from 10m out.

There was a similar display of quality from Golding who, only minutes after his introduction, sped out of dummy half and too easily over the Knights defence.

Brough notched up another conversion and then gladly ended the opening 40 with his sixth goal after another penalty went Bradford’s way.

York looked far more composed after half time and thought they had scored early on from the restart.

Joe Brown seemed to lose the ball in the kick-return and Matty Marsh went over, but the referee called a restart to the Bulls.

The Knights’ undoing in the first half had been their proficiency for giving away penalties and they did so again to see Bradford extend their lead.

An offside call put them in good ball and Ross Oakes and Joe Brown combined down the left flank for the latter to cross.

The Bradford talisman then nudged his side into a four-score advantage with a field goal after O’Hagan saw his short ball intercepted.

Just after the hour mark, York finally got themselves back in the game when Lewis put Chris Clarkson through a gap for the skipper to score under the posts.

York did have their moments in possession through the half but were struggling to complete their sets. Kirmond gave away a penalty at the play-the-ball after pushing a marker next to the try-line and Lewis threw forward on halfway.

Brough had been irresistible all game and another deadly bomb of, this time in-goal, was not dealt with at all by the Knights, who let the ball bounce and Brown managed to dot down to round off the scoring.

Bradford: Pickersgill, Brown, R. Evans, Oakes, Vulukijapani, Brough, Lilley, Fleming, Doyle, Crossley, B. England, Murphy, B. Evans.

Subs (all used): Golding, Robson, Scurr, Wilson.

Tries: Brown (5, 74), Lilley (24), Golding (38), Oakes (50)

Goals: Brough (8/8)

Drop goals: Brough (56)

York: Lewis, Jones-Bishop, Salter, Atkins, K. Dixon, Marsh, O’Hagan, Teanby, Jubb, Baldwinson, Scott, Kirmond, Clarkson.

Subs (all used): Cuthbertson, Brining, Stock, Green.

Tries: K. Dixon (10), Atkins (34), Clarkson (62)

Goals: K. Dixon (3/3)

York’s Star Man: Brendan O’Hagan. Returning from injury, his kicking was strong on a narrow field.