Workington Town made it eight wins in nine games by completing a sensational league double over pre-match league leaders and pre-season title favourites Bradford Bulls at Odsal.

The result gives Leon Pryce’s side’s claim to a play-off place a huge boost ahead of next Sunday’s clash with new table-toppers York City Knights but, perhaps of equal importance, should install belief that they can compete and beat anyone should they make it.

Twice Workington came from behind in a full-blooded contest involving numerous scuffles, where the only surprise was that it took referee John McMullen 70 minutes to brandish a card.

Town arrived at the Bradford’s vast Odsal bowl, with play-maker Sean Penkywicz back at hooker after sitting out the 40-16 victory over Coventry, and with Perry Singleton and Stevie Scholey also returning.

The west Cumbrians had actually won their last two games against the once mighty former Super League and World Club Champions, albeit both at Derwent Park, with the latest success being the last gasp 17-16 victory in April.

Pryce’s men hit the ground running as Penkywicz set Ben Morris free 25 metres out, and Sam Forrester was up in support to go under the posts and score the first points that the Bulls had conceded for 193 minutes, having recently nilled both Whitehaven and North Wales.

Town’s intent was already clear as twice in the early stages the Bulls were forced into handling errors as they pressed. However, Town’s hard and uncompromising approach came at a cost as they incurred five quickfire penalties to heap pressure on themselves.

Finally it told, as Elliot Minchella twisted out of a tackle to score his 21st league try of the campaign, although Bulls’ club record-breaking kicker Dane Chisholm badly scuffed the conversion attempt.

Poor handling by Morris didn’t help the visitors’ cause as Bradford now camped in the Town half but without success.

But, on rare Workington attack deep in Bulls territory, a Jamie Doran pass went straight into the hands of Chisholm who ran fully 90 metres to score with Leeds loanee Jordan Lilley adding the goal.

A Penkywicz scoot form dummy-half was held up and, as the penalty count began to even itself out, only terrible communication on the right-flank prevented Town scoring.

Workington continued to threaten and Forrester lost control while trying to ground the ball.

Just before the break, James Newton launched a vital 40-20 and seconds later leading try scorer Elliott Miller crashed over with Forber’s fine conversion from out wide edging the west Cumbrians ahead again.

The second-half began terribly for Town as Forrester fumbled a towering Chisholm bomb just 10 metres from his own line but some great scramble defence again denied the home team.

Forrester then had a try ruled out when Jamie Doran’s supply pass forward was adjudged forward.

It proved a costly error as within minutes Bradford went up the other end and Matty Garside scored to swing the pendulum narrowly in the hosts’ favour again.

Tuoyo Egodo’s strength almost took him over the line but another titanic Town effort forced him back and into touch.

A mass brawl broke out after Stevie Scholey and Dalton Grant clashed on the floor in a tackle, exchanging punches and prompting the referee to summon both captains before putting the affair on report.

The incident stoked a fire that had been simmering and, several scuffles later, resulted in both Stevie Scholey and George Flanagan being sin-binned.

Before that Lilley took two opportunities to slot penalties and increase Bradford’s lead to 18-12 but a moment of magic from Doran –spotting a gap and arcing through to score – helped level matters again.

Doran had a chance for an almost identical try as Town opted to run a kickable penalty 40 metres out.

Joe Keyes swung a Bulls’ penalty wide from near the halfway line, then Grant had a try ruled out for a forward pass.

With five minutes to go, and Bradford perhaps expecting a drop-goal, Penkywicz danced through the defence to score the match winner.

Forber was in no hurry to add the extras and complete his 100 per cent kicking display and, although Doran missed a late drop-goal attempt, Town clung on for a famous victory.