Bulldogs fall short as Bulls take the spoils

Winger Johnny Campbell twice went close to scoring for Batley but was unable to prevent his side being nilled as they suffered defeat away to Bradford Bulls last Sunday. Pic: Paul Butterfield
Winger Johnny Campbell twice went close to scoring for Batley but was unable to prevent his side being nilled as they suffered defeat away to Bradford Bulls last Sunday. Pic: Paul Butterfield

Batley Bulldogs saw their three-match winning run come to an end last Sunday as they were beaten 16-0 away to Bradford Bulls.

It proved a tense and physical Betfred Championship clash in which Bradford proved more clinical when close to the line, scoring three tries, while nilling the Bulldogs.

A downpour in the moments before kick off meant it was never going to be a free-flowing contest and there was just one score in the opening 40 minutes.

Both sides had spells of pressure but it was the Bulldogs who enjoyed the majority of possession in the first half, although they were unable to break a solid Bulls defence.

Bradford broke the deadlock after 11 minutes when a rare foray into Bulldogs territory saw Sam Hallas held short in front of the posts but neat handling saw them move left as Matty Wildie linked with Ross Oakes, who sent winger David Foggin-Johnston diving it at the corner but Jordan Lilley was unable to convert.

Batley responded well and produced a couple of dangerous kicks which caused the Bulls problems, one of which saw Louis Jouffret produce a neat grubber over the line only for Jake Webster to shepherd the ball dead despite the on-rushing Bulldogs attackers.

Ross Peltier proved a handful for the Bulldogs defence, making some fierce runs on his 100th appearance for the Bulls.

Another dangerous kick caused Ethan Ryan an anxious moment but the full-back managed to flick the ball dead under pressure from Bulldogs winger Keenan Tomlinson.

Batley also started the second half brightly and another dangerous high-kick caused confusion as Jake Webster collided with one of his own players and Dane Manning rushing on to put the ball down only for referee Matt Rossleigh to pull play back for a knock-on.

Tensions boiled over as Manning and Webster were involved in a scuffle and from the resulting Bradford penalty they grabbed a second try.

Another passing move sent Foggin-Johnston over for his second try, which Lilley converted from wide out.

Bradford then put the game beyond Batley with a third try just five minutes later.

Matty Wildie’s kick through deflected off a Batley defender into the arms of Elliot Minchella, who scored next to the posts to give Lilley a simple conversion.

The Bulldogs responded superbly and piled on the pressure the final quarter.

Johnny Campbell was dragged into touch short of the line by a number of Bradford defenders.

Batley again moved play left and create numbers wide out but James Brown’s pass was deemed forward.

Adam Gledhill was sin-binned three minutes from time following another dust up but it was the 12-man Bulldogs who created another chance but Campbell was unable to grab a consolation try.

Defeat leaves Batley ninth in the Championship table, ahead of the visit of Sheffield Eagles this Sunday.