Batley win to boost top four hopes

Greg Minikin scored his first try for Batley Bulldogs during Sunday's impressive win over Workington Town.
Greg Minikin scored his first try for Batley Bulldogs during Sunday's impressive win over Workington Town.

Batley Bulldogs maintained their challenge for a top four spot in the Kingstone Press Championship with a 31-24 victory at Workington Town last Sunday.

Workington may lie bottom of the table but have shown improved form in recent weeks and made Batley work hard for their win in Cumbria.

Both sides had early chances before Town took a 10th minute lead when Brett Phillips got on the end of a neat pass from brother Callum to score and Carl Forber converted.

Dominic Brambani reduced the arrears with a penalty and Batley took the lead after 25 minutes as loose forward Luke Blake crossed for a try which Brambani goaled.

The Bulldogs launched another attack moments later but Brambani’s kick went into touch, while Batley then survived a Workington attack at the other end.

Town again looked to hit back but a kick was charged down and Batley regained possession and launched a brilliant counter attack.

Wayne Reittie and Greg Minikin combined to race up the right touchline.

Minikin finished the move for his first Batley try and Pat Walker converted as the Bulldogs led 14-6 at half-time.

Town were awarded an early second half penalty after Jarrad Stack had launched an attack.

Workington moved the ball wide and centre Perry Whiteley stretched over to touch down out wide, with Forber adding the touchline conversion.

Batley responded well and Alex Brown latched on to Brambani’s cross field kick to score an unconverted try.

Full-back Dave Scott was then on the end of another neat passing move and he shrugged off a defender on his way to the line.

Walker converted and Batley had breathing space, leading 24-12.

Workington launched a fight back as Sammut’s quick thinking saw him beat the Batley defence to score, with Forber converting.

Marc Shackley then broke from inside his own half and although he was hauled down short, Batley were penalised on the next tackle and Jack Murphy got on the end of Forber’s grubber kick to score, with Forber’s conversion levelling matters with 14 minutes remaining.

Walker slotted over a crucial drop goal to edge Batley back in front and the Bulldogs completed victory with a 74th minute try as Alistair Leak was alert to score between the posts.

Walker landed the simple conversion and Batley head into Sunday’s Summer Bash derby against Dewsbury in confident mood.

Workington Town: J Murphy; C Murphy, Stack, Whiteley, Hulme; Forber, Doran; Shackley, Phillips, Gordon, B Phillips, Gee, McAvoy. Subs: Mattinson, Walker, Sammut, Verlinden.

Tries: B Phillips, Whiteley, Sammut, J Murphy.

Goals: Forber 4/4.

Batley: Scott; Reittie, Minikin, Ulugia, A Brown; Southernwood, Brambani; Hirst, Leak, Rowe, Mariano, Chandler, Blake. Subs (all used): Walker, Gledhill, Bretherton, J Brown.

Tries: Blake, Minikin, Scott, A Brown, Leak.

Goals: Brambani 2/2, Walker 3/4.Drop-goal: Walker.

Referee: Jack Smith (Wigan).