Brambani secures Bulldogs fifth round spot
Dominic Brambani kicked Batley Bulldogs into the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup fifth round with his 76th minute drop goal seeing them edge past Whitehaven 37-36 last Saturday.
It was an exciting, end-to-end tie , which saw the sides score six tries apiece but Batley just did enough to edge through.
Batley took a sixth minute lead when Wayne Reittie scooped up a loose ball and raced half the length of the field before passing to opposite winger Alex Brown.
Brown sold a dummy and raced over to open the scoring and Pat Walker landed the first of his six goals.
Haven hit back in style and stormed into an 18-6 lead with three tries in 18 minutes.
Dave Allen broke and sent full-back Louis Jouffret racing over.
Allen again raced through and sent winger Chris Taylor strolling to the line before Liam Carberry barged over and with Jouffret adding all three goals, the visitors looked to have taken control.
James Davey made an immediate impact from the bench when he wrong footed the Haven defence with a neat run from acting half-back and forced his way over near the posts. Walker converted.
Alex Rowe then met the ball at pace on Batley’s very next attack and he dived over unopposed, with Walker’s conversion levelling matters.
Batley launched another attack with Dave Scott and Chris Ulugia linking well to create an overlap for Reittie, who beat Jouffret to stretch over the line for his side’s third try in just seven minutes. Walker again converted and Batley led 24-18 at half-time having played up the slope.
Batley began the second half brightly when Rowe produced a repeat of his first try to beat the Haven defence and plunge over. Walker converted.
Whitehaven refused to lie down and Grant Gore produced a fine piece of skill to dummy full-back Scott and race over between the posts, with Jouffret’s goal reducing the arrears back to six points.
Joe Chandler capitalised on a storming run from James Brown to score Batley’s sixth try, which Walker improved.
James Newton linked with Dion Aiye to collect the return pass and race over before Connor Holliday finished off another sweeping move to cross in the corner. Jouffret’s touchline goal levelled at 36-36.
It set up a pulsating finale but Batley held their nerve and Brambani kicked them into the fifth round when he slotted over a drop goal from 25 metres out four minutes from full-time.