Bulldogs in danger after Haven defeat

Batley Bulldogs slipped to second-bottom in the Kingstone Press Championship following Sunday’s 24-12 defeat at Whitehaven.

An error strewn first half proved costly for Batley, who never recovered from falling 18-0 behind after 36 minutes.

Even when Whitehaven were reduced to 11 men when wingers Jordan Sigismeau and Craig Calvert were sin-binned for separate offences within two minutes of each other, Batley were unable to capitalise.

Batley fell behind after just four minutes when Haven loose forward Sam Brooks broke through, found Dion Aiye in support and he sent Grant Gore storming to the line. Louis Jouffret converted.

Things got worse when Jessie Joe Parker gave Calvert a simple run to the line and Jouffret again improved.

The Bulldogs were given hope when Sigismeau was sin-binned for dissent and Calvert followed soon after for his part in a skirmish involving opposite number Wayne Reittie.

However, Batley were unable to make their numerical advantage pay as the Haven defence remained solid.

Johnny Campbell, returning from a long-term injury lay-off, looked to have pulled a try back but the effort was ruled out before the home side were restored to their full compliment of players.

With Calvert back in the fray, the winger made amends for his sin-binning when he latched onto Aiye’s grubber kick to pounce for his second try.

Jouffret’s third conversion put Haven 18-0 up at the break and Batley had it all to do in the second half.

Batley began to fight back and when Sigismeau knocked on, Shaun Ainsough pounced for a try against his former club.

Scott Leatherbarrow converted and the Bulldogs had hope.

As Batley looked to mount another attack, Whitehaven broke down the right and Sigismeau sent fellow Frenchman Jouffret over for a crucial 62nd minute try.

The full-back converted to give his side breathing space at 24-6.

Joe Chandler replied with a try nine minutes from full-time which Leatherbarrow improved and Batley had two further tries disallowed in the final five minutes.

Shaun Squires was judged to have knocked on in the build up to scoring and Batley had a second effort ruled out shortly after.

Haven held on for a crucial victory which moves them above Batley in the table.