Batley Bulldogs 12 Halifax Panthers 22 - Lingard rues unforced errors in derby defeat

Batley Bulldogs head coach Craig Lingard admitted his side were their “own worst enemy” as they lost a tightly-contested West Yorkshire derby against Halifax Panthers on Sunday afternoon.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 11:05 am
Updated Monday, 28th June 2021, 11:06 am
DEFEAT: Batley Bulldogs 12-22 Halifax Panthers. Picture: Simon Hall/OMH Pics.
DEFEAT: Batley Bulldogs 12-22 Halifax Panthers. Picture: Simon Hall/OMH Pics.

The Bulldogs led 10-6 at the interval before a third penalty goal of the game from Luke Hooley extended their lead to six points.

However, the Panthers mounted a comeback to record their fourth-straight victory and end Batley’s three-match winning streak.

“I thought the first-half defensive performance was really good. I thought we managed the game up the hill,” reflected Lingard.

DEFEAT: Batley Bulldogs 12-22 Halifax Panthers. Picture: Simon Hall/OMH Pics.

“It is always nice to go into half-time with an advantage on the scoreboard. In the second half we just didn’t manage the game, I thought Halifax managed the field position and possession a lot more than we did.

“When we got down into some good-ball areas, we turned up too many cheap and unforced errors. We didn’t really build any pressure on Halifax. We are disappointed to lose, we are our own worst enemy at times.”

Hooley scored eight of Batley’s points as he kicked four goals in total as Tom Lillycrop scored the hosts’ only try just before the half-hour mark.

Liam Harris scored a first-half try for Halifax but it wasn’t until the last quarter that the Panthers sparked their comeback.

James Woodburn-Hall dummied his over over to narrow the deficit to two points and with nine minutes to go, Harris’s converted try put the Panthers in front.

Batley went on the attack, knowing a converted try would be enough to snatch the two points but Halifax sealed their win a minute from time as Harris came up with the ball and dotted down for his hat-trick score.

Lingard added: “We knew it was going to be a tight game, so we said any points on offer we would take them.

“We got that six-point advantage, they scored a try but missed their conversion so we still had a two-point advantage.

“The scoreline - 22-12 - looks bigger than what it was as they scored a try on the last play when we are trying to force the play a little bit.

“If that ball goes out to Elliot Hall he probably goes 60 metres and wins us the game but instead it was another six points to them.

“Full credit to Halifax, they managed the game a lot better in the second half than what we did.”