Bristol Sonics got back to winning ways on Saturday, lighting up the first ever Cooperative Rugby League Conference Midlands Magic event with an impressive first half try blitz and a 32-24 win over fellow title rivals Leicester Storm.The Sonics, who two weeks ago narrowly lost to unbeaten Northampton Demons, hit Leicester with a devastating opening spell of four tries in 20 minutes. Yet a sloppy second half meant Bristol had to dig deep to weather a spirited Storm fightback and hold on to a vital two-points.
On a stormy afternoon of sunshine and heavy showers at Coventry University’s Westwood Heath ground, it was Bristol who started the brighter. The Sonics opened the scoring after just three minutes, centre Joel Keen cutting back inside to touch down between the posts after a fine left-to-right attacking move. Captain Dom Swann added the first of four conversions to ease the Sonics into a 6-0 lead.Leicester found it hard to cope with Bristol’s hard-running and expansive wide play early on, and it was no surprise when the Sonics extended their lead after just 10 minutes. After attacking hard down Leicester’s left, long passes from hooker Harry Marson, Swann and Keen found winger Mike Norman in space. He clinically rounded his opposite number and touched down close to the posts, Swann calmly stroking the conversion between the uprights.
Six minutes later Bristol ripped Leicester’s defence apart on the flanks yet again. This time it was full-back Dan Evans taking advantage of the space created by a pin-point pass from scrum half Tom James. Evans scythed through unopposed on the left to score from 40 metres out.