Batley earn terrific win over Halifax

Batley's Joe Chandler is held by Halifax defenders Matt Sarsfield and Scott Murrell. Pictures: Paul Butterfield.
Batley's Joe Chandler is held by Halifax defenders Matt Sarsfield and Scott Murrell. Pictures: Paul Butterfield.

Batley Bulldogs returned to winning ways in the Kingstone Press Championship with a terrific 32-16 suc cess over top-four rivals Halifax.

The Bulldogs led a closely fought contest 20-16 with just three minutes to go but managed to grab two late tries to secure a seventh league win of the season.

Halifax took an early lead when former Bulldogs half back Gareth Moore’s chip kick bounced kindly for centre Steve Tyrer to gather and score out wide and he also tagged ion a fine conversion.

The sides were locked in an arm wrestle until the Bulldogs hit back after 27 minutes.

Dominic Brambani spotted Will Sharp out of position and kicked behind the Fax winger and opposite number Wayne Reittie to score in the corner.

Pat Walker’s touchline conversion rebounded off a post but Batley took the lead soon after when Chris Ulugia burst through and sent Shaun Ainscough over in the corner.

Walker was on target with the conversion and the Bulldogs led 10-6 at half-time with the advantage of playing down the slope to come.

Fax edged back in front at the start of the second half when prop Richard Moore stormed clear to put loan signing Matt Sarsfield racing between the posts and Tyrer converted.

Batley responded with a superb try as Miles Greenwood hesitated under Brambani’s high kick and Walker gathered before kicking wide to set up Reittie’s second try.

Alex Rowe set up another Batley attack, charging down the slope on his 100th game for the club and Walker nipped over from acting half-back and tagged on the conversion.

Ben Heaton powered over in the corner to reduce Batley’s lead to 20-16 and set up a thrilling last 10 minutes.

Batley finished the stronger and another Brambani bomb was knocked on by Greenwood.

The Bulldogs drove forward before Brambani moved the ball wide for Dave Scott to dummy his way through the Fax defence and score a crucial try, with Walker’s goal giving them a 10- point lead.

Halifax attempted a short kick off but Greg Minikin was alert to the danger as he regained possession.

James Brown had led a terrific effort by the Bulldogs forwards and the powerful prop was rewarded with a last minute try when he gathered a short pass and spun out of a tackle to crash over. Walker tagged on his fourth goal to cap a very satisfying display by Batley.

Victory saw the Bulldogs leapfrog Halifax into fifth place and are just a point outside the top four ahead of Sunday’s trip to bottom side Workington.