Bulldogs slip to agonising defeat as Lions strike late blows

Niall Walker crossed for a second half try but was unable to prevent Batley Bulldogs slipping to a narrow defeat away to Swinton last Sunday. Picture: Paul Butterfield
Niall Walker crossed for a second half try but was unable to prevent Batley Bulldogs slipping to a narrow defeat away to Swinton last Sunday. Picture: Paul Butterfield

Batley Bulldogs slipped to an agonising defeat as Swinton Lions struck late on to snatch a 20-18 victory in the Betfred Championship at Heywood Road last Sunday.

Batley appeared on course for a seventh win of the season as they led 18-8 with 10 minutes remaining only for Swinton to grab two quickfire tries to snatch the points, which saw them move above the Bulldogs into ninth spot in the table.

Dane Manning was playing his 100th game for Batley but he was sent to the sin-bin after just four minutes after lifting Lions loose forward Patrick Jones in a tackle.

Swinton looked to have taken immediate advantage when winger Matthew Ashton crossed but the try was ruled out for obstruction.

Batley weathered further Swinton pressure and created a chance of their own with a kick to the in-goal area just too far for Lewis Galbraith to ground.

Swinton took a 28th minute lead when full-back Jack Hansen kicked through for centre Rhodri Lloyd to race onto it and score.

Hansen landed the conversion and then kicked a penalty goal from 25 yards out as the Lions led 8-0.

Batley responded with a spell of pressure of their own and forced repeat sets.

A long pass looked to have put winger Niall Walker over wide out but it was judged forward as the Bulldogs had an effort disallowed.

The pressure finally told as Batley scored twice in the lead up to half-time.

Alistair Leak was on hand to palm the ball onto Paul Brearley and the second row man forced his way over for a try which Louis Jouffret converted.

Batley attacked again and having driven play close to the line, Adam Gledhill spun in a tackle to force his way over between the posts. Jouffret added the simple goal and Batley turned round leading 12-8.

Batley also began the second half on the front foot and Hansen had to be alert to clear a dangerous kick for a drop out.

Swinton were then reduced to 12 men when Scott Moore was sin-binned for a tackle which resulted in Joe Taira having to leave the field.

Jouffret stretched the Bulldogs lead by kicking the resulting penalty goal.

Batley appeared in control when they added a third try after 53 minutes when a neat handling move saw play moved quickly from left to right and Walker beat the opposite winger to score wide out but Jouffret was unable to add the goal.

Once restored to their full compliment, Swinton mounted a comeback of their own.

Batley kicked out on the full, handing Swinton possession and the Bulldogs were then penalised and eventually the pressure told and Gavin Bennion forced his way over between the posts, with Hansen converting.

Moore broke through to set up another Lions attack and Bennion’s short pass sent Frankie Hatton over for a try and Hansen converted before Swinton closed the game out.