Batley Bulldogs produced a determined effort but it wasn’t enough to prevent them slipping to defeat against full-timers London Broncos at Fox’s Biscuits Stadium last Sunday.
It was the injury hit Bulldogs sixth straight defeat in the Betfred Championship but for long periods they had the Broncos under pressure before the energy sapping heat took its toll.
Patch Walker returned to the side and he was partnered at half-back by Tom Hemingway, in the continued absence of first choice scrum half Dominic Brambani.
Batley were the better side for long periods of the first half as they pinned London back in the early stages.
Batley twice forced the Broncos to drop out and the pressure finally told as they forced a third consecutive repeat set and Sam Smeaton showed a great turn of pace from a scrum to race over for the opening score, with Patch Walker converting.
London responded well and having had a try ruled out for a forward pass, they finally hit back to level in the 25th minute.
Batley were on attack but a high kick was well gathered by Kieran Dixon and he raced up the slope before finding Api Pewhairangi in support to send him over. Dixon converted to level.
James Harrison produced a powerful drive but was denied by and excellent try saving tackle from Alex Walker but when Batley knocked on, Dixon scooped up the loose ball and raced up the slope. The ball was spread wide for Rhys Williams to score in the corner and Dixon kicked the touchline goal.
Batley hit back on the stroke of half-time when Patch Walker’s dangerous kick hit the posts and then wasn’t dealt with by Broncos full-back Alex Walker and James Davey benefited to gather the ball and score.
Patch Walker’s conversion sent the sides into half-time level at 12-12.
Batley found the going tough after the break as London stamped their authority on the game and the fitness of the full-time outfit proved crucial in the sweltering heat.
London went ahead in the 45th minute when they opted to run a penalty close to the line and Matt Davies sent Matt Gee crashing over for a try which Dixon converted.
London went on to score three tries in the space of eight minutes to take a grip on the game.
Jay Pitts raced over in the 50th minute, with Dixon converting, before the Broncos stormed back down the slope to mount another attack.
Jarrod Sammut’s high kick was gathered by Alex Walker, who then chipped over the Bulldogs defence for Dixon to gather and score.
Dixon was unable to convert his own try but London had raced into a 28-12 lead.
Tom Spencer was on the end of some neat handling to grab the Broncos sixth try, which Dixon improved.
Williams then grabbed his second try after another London break.
Batley kept plugging away and were rewarded with a well worked try five minutes from full-time.
A chip out wide was palmed back by Jason Crookes and Alex Bretherton was alert to send Lewis Galbraith over in the corner.
Batley had given their all in testing circumstances but defeat leaves them in seventh place and things get no easier as they host another full-time outfit, Leigh Centurions, this Sunday before making their historic trip to Canada to face leaders Toronto Wolfpack.