Bulldogs push Broncos close in narrow defeat

Alex Brown scored for Batley but was unable to prevent defeat to London Broncos.
Alex Brown scored for Batley but was unable to prevent defeat to London Broncos.

Batley Bulldogs 22

London Broncos 28

Batley Bulldogs produced a terrific display to push full-time London Broncos all the way but ultimately they were unable to prevent a fifth straight defeat in the Kingstone Press Championship.

Batley Bulldogs produced a terrific display to push full-time London Broncos all the way but ultimately they were unable to prevent a fifth straight defeat in the Kingstone Press Championship.

Batley led 18-6 after a terrific first half effort before London fought back playing down the Mount Pleasant slope.

The impressive James Brown set up Batley’s opening try with a storming drive before Luke Blake darted over from acting half-back and Scott Leatherbarrow converted.

Fans favourite Alex Brown dived over wide on the left and Leatherbarrow landed a towering touchline goal as Batley led 12-0 after 24 minutes.

Erjon Dollapi stretched over between the posts and Wes Naiqama converted to get London back in the game but Batley grabbed a third try before half-time as Sean Hesketh met a pass at pace to charge over on his 200th career appearance.

Leatherbarrow converted from the right touchline and Batley led 18-6 at the break.

London stormed back and three tries in the opening nine minutes turned the game.

Matt Garside bagged a quickfire brace and Tom Gilmore also crossed, all improved by Naiqama as London led 24-12.

Iliess Macina looked to have sealed victory with a 64th minute try but L<ondon hadn’t accounted for a storming Bulldogs fightback.

James Craven stretched over wide on the right for an unconverted try and Batley dominated the final 10 minutes.

Keegan Hirst and Hesketh were both denied by tackled inches from the Broncos line and the visitors breathed a huge sigh of relief on the final hooter.

Batley Bulldogs: Craven; Reittie, Cosgrove, Squires, A Brown; Mitchell, Leatherbarrow; Hirst, Blake, Rowe, Scott, Chandler, J Brown. Subs: Gledhill, Fozard, Hesketh, Ainscough.

London Broncos: Kear; Williams, Helliwell, Naiqama, Macani; Thomas, Gilmore; Lovegrove, Henderson, Thackray, Harrison, Garside, Minichella. Subs: Nasso, Dollapi, Walker, Wallace.

Referee: Jamie Bloem.

Attendance: 341