Batley battle hard despite Broncos loss

Sean Hesketh was among Batley's try scorers in last Sunday's Championship defeat at London Broncos.
Sean Hesketh was among Batley's try scorers in last Sunday's Championship defeat at London Broncos.

Batley Bulldogs’ hopes of clinching a top four finish in the Kingstone Press Championship were ended in the capital last Sunday.

London Broncos ran in nine tries in a 50-16 victory, with full-back Sean Morris crossing five times.

Batley threatened to get something from the game during a lively first half spell before the fitness of the full-time Broncos allowed them to pull away.

Morris opened the scoring after seven minutes when he side stepped through the Batley defence to cross between the posts and give William Barthau a simple conversion.

Hooker James Cunningham sold a dummy before sending Sadiq Aedbiyi over and Iliess Macani then finished off a slick move for London’s third try.

Two further Barthau conversions put the Broncos 18-0 ahead and the writing was on the wall.

However, Batley showed great heart to battle back as London knocked on from the kick off and after the Bulldogs took play close, Sean Hesketh scored out wide and Scott Leatherbarrow converted.

London sent the kick off out on the full and the penalty put Batley back on attack.

Leatherbarrow’s lovely kick over was gathered by Brad Day to score and Leatherbarrow’s goal reduced the arrears to 18-12.

Batley did well to keep the Broncos at bay but on the stroke of half-time Morris crossed for his second try out wide and Barthau landed the fine conversion.

Two minutes into the second half Morris completed his hat-trick after good work by Joe Keyes and this time Barthau’s conversion was much easier.

Ben Hellewell crossed after good build up work from winger Rhys Williams and Morris, with Barthau landing his sixth goal to kill off any hopes of a Bulldogs fightback.

Batley full-back James Craven was sin-binned for a head-high tackle on Barthau, which saw the London man helped from the field.

A minute later Hellewell crossed for his second try, which Elliot Kear was unable to improve but brave Batley hit back with Alex Brown continuing his excellent scoring form with a try in the corner.

There was still time for star full-back Morris to add two further tries, one of which was improved by Keyes, as London brought up the half century.

Batley may not have made the play-offs but have the consolation that they will be playing Championship rugby next season.