TEENAGER Matty Storton hopes he is pushing himself into Championship contention after clocking up the most game-time in the Bulls’ pre-season.

The 19-year-old played 264 minutes of friendly action up until Bulls' final warm-up, a 48-12 defeat to Toronto Wolfpack at Odsal last weekend, when he started on the bench.

With Elliot Minchella not being risked, the second-rower from Keighley could get another chance to continue the big strides made in his first injury-free pre-season programme.

Storton got some more minutes under his belt from the interchange in the Yorkshire Cup final win over Batley, playing up the infamous Mount Pleasant slope.

Storton only broke through in the closing stages of last season but is already pushing the more-established likes of Matty Garside for a spot in John Kear’s side for the curtain-raiser against Featherstone nine days from now.

He said: “It’s up to John obviously but I feel I’ve put in good performances. So hopefully I can keep him out.

“It was really good to get on at Batley. I thought I would play less than I did.

“It was a tough game and I really enjoyed it. It was probably one of the hardest I’ve ever played going up that hill.

“It was mentally tough and we had to dig deep for the win. We did well as a team and worked together to grind out the win in the second half.”

The 14-12 success was a timely taster of the tight battles the Bulls can expect this year after moving up a level.

Storton believes he is well prepared for the next step following a full pre-season programme.

He added: “It’s the first pre-season I’ve had in two years fully fit.

“The first year I had hamstring injury and last time it was my shoulder. It’s really good to be injury-free this time and I feel loads fitter and stronger.

“I think I’ve really progressed since I came into first-team training with John. He’s really helped my game and hopefully I’ll play a bit more this year.”

Kear said: “I wasn’t intending to play him this week. But obviously Elliot’s enforced rest may mean we look at it slightly differently.

“We’ll do what we feel is the best for each individual and us as a club, not just for this game but more importantly the first one of the season.”