How come they never officially applied? Did the NCL just invite the clubs they wanted in out of the expressions of interest to submit an official application?
Why they didn't actually apply probably came from them knowing that they didn't meet any of the criteria. For starters they only have one team; no second team, no youth or junior teams. Facilities come next - and whilst the facilities they have used belonging to another club are superb - NCL teams cannot share grounds with another NCL team.
The NCL didn't "just invite the clubs they wanted in out of the expressions of interest to submit an official application". The majority of the clubs that applied actually got in, with just a few on the fringes that didn't meet enough of the criteria.
Perhaps Bramley expected that they deserved to get in just because they were Bramley. Even Warrington Wizards had to do a lot of work before they got to the stage of even being considered the second time round.