Dewsbury Rams halt seven-game losing streak in Boxing Day derby with Batley Bulldogs
Dewsbury Rams put an end to their seven-game losing run in the Heavy Woollen Boxing Day derby but were denied victory by former winger Dale Morton.
The hosts had come from 12-0 down to lead the contest 14-12 before Morton knocked over a penalty goal to ensure the sides took a share of the spoils.
Batley’s opening try started from inside the Rams half as Keenan Tomlinson claimed a pass from Paul Sykes and raced clear.
He was halted by Michael Knowles before the Bulldogs continued to push forward, ending with opportunistic hooker Alistair Leak diving under two Dewsbury defenders to get the ball down.
And the Rams were left ruing some indiscipline soon after as the away side doubled their lead from a penalty.
From the fresh set, Michael Ward stormed onto a short pass to crash over, with Morton making no mistake with the extras.
Dewsbury reduced the deficit before the interval as Andy Gabriel dived over in the corner, with Sykes adding an impressive conversion from he touchline.
That score proved decisive as the hosts scored twice inside the opening 10 minutes of the second half to go in front.
Adam Ryder won a penalty high up the pitch for the Rams before Sykes’ looping pass dropped into the arms of Will Oakes who strolled over for his first Dewsbury try.
Moments later, Connor Scott won the ball back for Dewsbury before play was worked to Ryder who dotted down to put the home side in front.
Batley thought they had regained the lead when George Senior went to touch the ball down but the referee ruled that a Rams defender had got a hand to it first.
With three minutes remaining, Batley were awarded a penalty for not releasing.
They opted to go for goal, with Morton adding his third goal from three attempts to level proceedings.
Michael Knowles had a drop-goal attempt blocked from 20 metres as Dewsbury went in search of victory.
The ball was kept alive after the hooter until Jon Magrin was hauled down to signal an end to an enthralling contest.
Dewsbury head coach Lee Greenwood was pleased with how his newcomers played against a more experienced Batley side.
“We had a few good chances and I’d like to think we could have put the one-pointer over, but everything you don’t want to do when you go for a one-pointer, we did,” he said.
“Batley have got a lot of seasoned campaigners in there and I thought some of our guys who haven’t played Championship regularly stood up quite well to them.”
Meanwhile, Craig Linagrd, taking charge of his first Batley Bulldogs game, reacted: “Some of the stuff we had been working on, worked, but there is some stuff that we need to improve.
“For a first run out we weren’t firing on all cylinders, there are a lot of things to take out of it but definitely a lot of things to improve on.
“On the balance of the game and looking at the full 80 minutes I think that a draw was probably a fair result.”