Bulldogs and Knights play out thrilling draw

Jack Broadbent celebrates scoring his first try for Batley Bulldogs.
Jack Broadbent celebrates scoring his first try for Batley Bulldogs.

Batley Bulldogs played out an entertaining 14-14 draw with Betfred Championship high fliers York City Knights last Sunday.

The sides had drawn their 1895 cup tie 16-16 at Bootham Crescent last month before Louis Jouffret’s dramatic extra time drop goal sent Batley into the semi-finals and it proved another enthralling clash at Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.

York battled their way back from 14-6 down to level matters and, after both sides had missed drop goal attempts, the Knights had chance to win it with the last kick of the game only for Conor Robinson’s long range penalty attempt after the final hooter to fall short.

The early stages were cagey as the sides cancelled each other out but Batley broke the deadlock with a 16th minute try.

On loan centre Jack Broadbent made an excellent break from halfway before rounding York full-back Matty Marsh to score his first try for his hometown club. Jouffret converted.

Former Bulldog Brad Hey and Josh Jordan-Roberts both went close for York before Batley full-back Dave Scott had to be alert to ground a kick to the in-goal area before an attacker could pounce for the try.

Robinson pulled a penalty goal back for the Knights just before half-time after Batley were caught offside but the Bulldogs were worthy of their 6-2 interval lead.

Robinson and Batley scrum-half Danny Yates were sin-binned early in the second half after clashing following a Bulldogs kick to the in-goal area.

York hit back to level when their own on-loan centre Cameron Scott forced his way past three Bulldogs defenders and over the line for an unconverted try.

Batley regained the lead on the hour as James Brown offloaded to Broadbent, who broke upfield before sending Jouffret racing to the line for a try which he converted.

The Frenchman then added a penalty goal from 40 metres out as Batley took a grip on the game at 14-6.

York were fought back with a try after 68 minutes as they attacked on the back of a penalty and Robinson linked with Liam Harris before sending Jordan Roberts crashing over for a try which Robinson converted.

York piled on the pressure down the slope and were awarded a penalty for holding down, which Robinson stepped up to kick and level matters with eight minutes remaining.

Both sides missed drop goal attempts before Batley thought they had grabbed a match winning try as they knocked the ball from Hey’s grasp and Brown pounced to touch down only for referee Scott Mikalauskas to ruled a Bulldogs knock on.

In a dramatic finale, Batley were penalised for offside and, as the final hooter sounded, Robinson attempted an ambitious goal attempt from 65 metres out but it fell short and the spoils were shared.

The draw allowed Batley to move back above Widnes Vikings into 10th place.