Bulldogs blitz secures Challenge Cup victory

Shaun Squires beats Featherstone's Ian Hardman to score.
Shaun Squires beats Featherstone's Ian Hardman to score.

Batley Bulldogs booked their place in the last 16 of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup with an impressive 28-10 victory over Featherstone Rovers.

The Championship rivals served up a cracking contest in front of the Sky Sports cameras but it was a four-try blast midway through the second half which set up Batley’s win.

Batley took an early lead when Dominic Brambani’s kick to the corner caused confusion in the Rovers defence.

The ball was knocked over the try line by a defender and centre Shaun Squires pounced to score.

Batley continued to have the better of the first half and another dangerous kick wide was palmed on by Wayne Reittie for Alex Bretherton to dive over but the video referee chalked off the effort.

Pat Walker launched an impressive 40-20 kick up the slope but as Dave Scott ran at the defence from the scrum, he had the ball stripped by Misi Tualapapa, who stormed 90 metres down the slope for a running try to level matters, with Kyran Johnson missing the conversation.

Scott looked to have sent Shaun Ainscough over in the corner but again the video referee ruled the try out and Batley found themselves behind at the break when Johnson kicked a penalty from in front of the posts.

Defences were on top early in the second half before Batley took control of the game in a superb 10 minute spell.

Brambani dummied through from 30 metres out, following good work by Alistair Leak and Cain Southernwood.

The scrum half slipped the ball inside for the supporting James Harrison to score between the posts and Walker added the simple goal.

Batley stormed back down the slope and James Brown and fed Bretherton, who slipped a pass back inside for Shaun Ainscough to grab a converted try, two days after signing a contract extension which will keep him at Batley until 2018.

Two minutes later, Batley added a fourth try when Walker fed Brambani, with the Featherstone defence expecting him to kick.

Brambani jinked his way through and over for the try, which Walker improved.

Brambani was running the show and sent Keegan Hirst racing through and the Bulldogs captain sent Southernwood over for a walk in try. Walker converted and Batley led 26-6 after 66 minutes.

Rovers replied with a Jamie Cording unconverted try but Walker capped another impressive Bulldogs win with a last minute penalty.

Batley Bulldogs: Scott; Reittie, Cowling, Squires, Ainscough; Southernwood, Brambani; Hirst, Blake, Brown, Day, Bretherton, Walker. Subs: Gledhill, Lillycrop, Leak, Harrison.

Tries: Squires (12), Harrison (59), Ainscough (61), Brambani (64), Southernwood (66).

Goals: Walker (4/6)

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Johnson, Tagg, Taulapapa, Turner; Milner, Craven; Bostock, Davies Ormodroyd, Cording, Spears, Roche. Subs: Thackeray, Griffin, Cooper, Blockley.

Tries: Taulapapa (24), Cording (73).

Goals: Johnson (1/3).

Referee: Gareth Hewer.

Attendamnce: 1.461.