Bulldogs dig deep to slay the Knights
York City Knights16
BATLEY Bulldogs dug deep and were forced to overcome adversities to register a fine away win at York in the Co-operative Championship last Sunday.
Batley had a glut of injuries, which ruled out key players, while they also had two men sin-binned and at one stage were down to 11 but they grafted hard to register a third win of the season, which leaves them fifth in the table but just a point behind joint leaders Halifax and Featherstone.
Batley took an eighth minute lead when second row Alex Bretherton drove the ball in, spun in a tackle and plunged over for the opening try, which Gareth Moore converted.
However, the visitors were hampered as Bretherton’s second row partner Johnny Walker was taken off after a bang to the head.
Batley opened the York defence after 21 minutes when stand-off Ben Black’s well-timed pass sent centre Daley Williams charging through a gap and he raced over for the try.
Moore again converted and Batley were threatening to run away with things against the winless Knights.
However, York dug deep and their best player, stand-off Chris Thorman sent substitute James Houston over. Thorman tagged on the goal and York were back in the game at 12-6.
Black appeared to have sent the impressive Mark Applegarth over but the try was ruled out after a touch judge intervened.
Batley lost hooker Paul Mennell to injury but just before half-time the Bulldogs luck changed for the better.
Black appeared to knock on a York pass out wide but Gareth Potts picked up the ball and as most of the York team stood waiting for the whistle, the Batley winger stormed 80 metres for the try. Moore’s third goal sent the visitors into half-time with an 18-6 lead.
Moore and York centre Matt Garside were sin-binned after a flare up early in the second half and Batley were then reduced to 11 men when Bretherton was yellow carded for dissent.
York moved downfield from the penalty and John Davies ran hard at the defence to score and reduce the arrears to 18-10.
Batley managed to thwart York and when they returned to their full complement, the Bulldogs responded in style by adding two further tries in eight minutes to put the game beyond doubt.
Black kicked through and Moore read it superbly to gather and score before the stand-off produced a similar move with another deft kick and this time, the returning Bretherton added his second try.
Moore capped a fine effort by adding both goals to take his tally for the afternoon to five from five attempts.
Paul King replied with a late consolation try for the Knights, which player/coach Thorman improved, but Batley had done enough to earn victory in what is proving to be a very tight and competitive Championship this time around.