Batley Bulldogs maintained their excellent start to the Kingstone Press Championship with an impressive 17-12 victory at Halifax last Sunday.
Once again a superb defensive display kept Halifax at bay for long spells and provided the platform for Batley to secure a third win from their opening four games.
The visitors were put under huge pressure in the first half but excellent last ditch defending restricted Halifax to just one try.
Gareth Moore looked to have opened the scoring when he crossed at the side of the posts only for the home side to be penalised for obstruction.
Fax launched another attack on the back of a penalty and Moore sent powerful second rower Dave Manning storming over for a try which Steve Tyrer converted.
Jacob Fairbank was denied soon after by a fine last-ditch tackle from full-back Dave Scott before Batley had a spell of pressure towards the end of the first half.
Dominic Brambani produced neat footwork to skip through the defence before sending Alex Bretherton over for the try. Brambani converted to level matters.
Batley were awarded a penalty on their next set and Brambani hammered over a 40-metre goal to edge his side ahead at the break.
Halifax started the second half strongly and former Bulldog Moore skipped over for a try, which Tyrer improved to put them 12-8 in front.
Jake Eccleston went close to extending the lead soon after before Batley hit back in style.
In-form Brambani collected Cain Southernwood’s pass and dummied his way through the Fax defence before holding off two defenders to dive over for a try which he converted.
Scott was on hand to haul down Adam Tangata when he looked certain to score following a break from halfway and when Halifax were penalised soon after, Pat Walker slotted over the goal to extend the Bulldogs lead.
More solid defence denied Halifax and when they finally created a gap, the final pass to Tyrer was deemed forward.
Walker and Brambani forced Halifax onto the back foot with pressure relieving kicks downfield and the Bulldogs sealed an impressive away win when Brambani slotted over a drop goal in the closing seconds.
Batley are one of four sides level on six points after their opening four games, just one behind leaders Bradford Bulls going into Sunday’s clash against winless Workington.
Halifax: Sharp; Eccleston, Heaton, Tyrer, Saltonstall; G. Moore, Murrell; Ambler, Kaye, Cahalane, Divorty, Manning, Tangata. Subs: Fairbank, Maneely, R. Moore, Barber.
Tries: Manning(26), Moore(45)
Goals: Tyrer (2/2).
Batley Bulldogs: Scott; Reittie, Cowling, Ulugia, Ainscough; Southernwood, Brambani; Hirst, Blake, Brown, Bretherton, Chandler, Walker. Subs: Leak, Gledhill, Rowe, Lillycrop.
Tries: Bretherton(39), Brambani(49)
Goals: Brambani (3/3), Walker(1/1).
Drop Goal: Brambani(79).
Referee: George Stokes