Batley ease fears with Hawks win

Alex Brown dives over for a spectacular Bulldogs try last Sunday.
Alex Brown dives over for a spectacular Bulldogs try last Sunday.

Batley Bulldogs eased their relegation fears in the Kingstone Press Championship with a 45-28 victory over Hunslet Hawks last Sunday.

Victory saw Batley move two points clear of second-bottom Hunslet, they also jumped above Whitehaven on points difference, while providing a confidence boost ahead of this week’s derby at Dewsbury.

Hunslet struck the first blow when Simon Brown’s neat pass sent Callum Casey through a gap and over for a 14th minute try, which Brown converted.

Batley hit back with Alex Rowe leading the way and Cain Southernwood’s excellent pass sent Alex Brown racing over.

Luke Blake forced his way over from acting half-back soon after and Scott Leatherbarrow converted.

The nip and truck first half continued as hooker Jack Lee darted over from close range and Simon Brown’s conversion edged the Hawks 12-10 ahead.

Full-back Jimmy Watson added a superb individual try soon after and Simon Brown again converted to stretch Hunslet’s lead to 18-10.

Batley regained possession from the kick off and Sean Hesketh forced his way over immediately after coming off the bench. Leatherbarrow converted.

Batley took advantage of a penalty and Tom Lillycrop showed great strength to force his way over with Leatherbarrow again converting.

Liam Mackay was sin-binned in the final minute of the first half and Batley took control playing down the slope after the break.

Shaun Squires sent Alex Brown over for his second try before Batley struck two decisive blows.

Day latched onto a short pass to crash over before Squires held off a would be tackler to stretch over and touch down, with two Leatherbarrow conversions extending the lead to 38-18.

Andy Yates replied with a Hunslet try on the hour, which Simon Brown improved, but Batley stormed down the slope with Keegan Hirst and Rowe charging forward and Joe Chandler benefited to go over for a deserved try.

Leatherbarrow landed his sixth goal of the afternoon before Hunslet struck with Lee’s second try seven minutes from full-time but it wasn’t enough to prevent defeat.

Batley had played some fine attacking rugby to score eight tries and they sealed an important win in their fight against relegation when Leatherbarrow slotted over a 78th minute drop goal.