Bulldogs defeat Rams to earn Boxing Day bragging rights
Batley Bulldogs earned a sixth successive Boxing Day derby win as they defeated Dewsbury Rams 28-16 to retain the Roy Powell Trophy.
Dewsbury appeared on course to end their losing run in the traditional festive fixture when they led 16-12 going into the final quarter.
However, Batley hit back to lead thanks to a well worked try by former Rams player Tom Hemingway before two tries in the final five minutes, while Dewsbury were down to 12 men, saw the Bulldogs seal victory.
Batley drew first blood after six minutes as Adam Gledhill was held up over the try line between the posts but they moved left on the next play and Johnny Campbell crossed for the opening try on his return to the Bulldogs. Patch Walker converted.
Batley knocked on from the kick off and Dewsbury moved right for new winger Rob Worrincy to cross in his first game in Rams colours. Paul Sykes converted to level.
Both sides were guilty of numerous handling errors, which affected the flow in the first half, but the game sprang to life with Worrincy’s second try after 36 minutes.
With Batley attacking close to the Rams try line, Worrincy intercepted a long pass and raced the length of the field, outpacing the Bulldogs defence to dive over for a sparkling try. Sykes converted and the Rams led 12-6 at half-time.
Batley hit back two minutes after the re-start as the impressive Hemingway and James Davey produced neat handling to feed Dominic Brambani, who sent over a terrific crossfield kick which allowed winger Wayne Reittie to gather and dive in at the corner and Brambani converted to level.
Dewsbury responded as Sykes fed Gareth Potts on the right wing and he slipped the ball back inside for James Glover and he sent Lucas Walshaw racing away to score. Sykes was unable to convert but the Rams led 16-12.
Josh Guzdek produced a superb one-on-one tackle to deny James Harrison a certain try but Batley piled on the pressure and were rewarded when Hemingway forced his way over wide on the right and Walker converted to edge the Bulldogs back in front.
Superb sliding defence by Batley forced Potts into touch close to the right corner flag and the game then swung decisively the Bulldogs way when Aaron Brown was sin-binned for an alleged high tackle.
Batley capitalised and scored twice in the final five minutes while Dewsbury were down to 12 men.
Hemingway broke through to set up a Batley attack and they then moved play right to create space for Danny Cowling to score but Walker was unable to convert from wide out.
Batley secured victory in the final minute when a long pass sent Reittie storming over for his second try and Walker converted with the last kick of the game to ensure Bulldogs fans left celebrating a sixth straight Boxing Day win.
Dewsbury Rams: Guzdek; Worrincy, Glover, Woollard, Morton; Sykes, Moore; Sheriffe, R Ward, Reilly, Walshaw, Knowles, A Brown. Subs: Day, Potts, Everett, Spicer, Teanby, Hallett, Trout, Speakman, Halliday.
Batley Bulldogs: Campbell; Reittie, Cowling, Crookes, Ainscough; Walker, Brambani; Gledhill, Leak, Rowe, Manning, Harrison, J Brown. Subs: Davey, M Ward, Chandler, Hemingway, Holland, Tomlinson.
Referee: G Dolan.