Bulldogs move top of Championship after Workington win

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Batley Bulldogs are sitting proudly at the top of the Kingstone Press Championship table following a 44-12 victory over Workington Town.

The Bulldogs produced a clinical second half display, playing down the Mount Pleasant slope, to run in 30 unanswered points and register a fourth win from their opening five matches.

Workington were well in the game at half-time, trailing only 14-12, before Batley showed their quality after the break.

Workington made a bright start and took a 16th minute lead when Declan Hulme and Brett Carter linked on the right.

Hulme was on hand to take a return pass from his winger to race over for the opening try and Carl Forber added a fine conversion from wide out.

Batley hit back when Keegan Hirst produced a fierce drive at the heart of the defence before slipping the ball away to send Cain Southernwood over at the side of the posts and Patch Walker landed the first of his eight goals.

Batley hit the front when Chris Ulugia leapt above the Town defence to gather Dominic Brambani’s crossfield kick to score and Walker goaled.

Workington were on the wrong end of a heavy penalty count and had Jarrad Stack sin-binned for holding down and Walker landed the resulting penalty to put Batley 14-6 ahead.

Town’s 12 men responded well and Jarrad Sammut moved play right for Hulme to send Carter over in the corner, with Forber landing a terrific touchline goal.

Batley cut loose after the break and just a minute after the re-start extended their lead when a penalty put them on attack and Alex Bretherton met a pass at pace to crash over. Walker converted.

Brambani had a try ruled out for a forward pass but Batley launched another attack soon after and James Brown forced his way over for their fourth try, which Walker again improved.

Brambani’s lovely short pass sent Alistair Leak charging away to score between the posts and Walker’s conversion was a formality.

Batley then produced a terrific sweeping move down the slope which resulted in Shaun Ainsough sending Southernwood over for his second try, which Walker again goaled.

Batley capped off another impressive win when Brambani launched a crossfield kick which Alex Brown leapt to gather and score on his return to the club. Walker maintained his 100 per cent kicking record with his eighth goal as Batley soared to the top of the table.

Batley Bulldogs: D Scott; Reittie, Cowling, Ulugia, Ainscough; Southernwood, Brambani; Hirst, Blake, J Brown, Bretherton, Gledhill, Walker. Subs: Lillycrop, Leak, A Brown, Rowe.

Workington Town: Murphy; Forrester, Hulme, Mossop, Carter; Forber, Sammut; Coward, Mattinson, Gordon, Phillips, Whiteley, McAvoy. Subs: Olstrom, Stack, Shackley, Verliner.

Referee: Jonathan Roberts.

Attendance: 658