Batley Bulldogs completed a quickfire double over Rochdale Hornets as they consolidated seventh place in the Betfred Championship table with a 23-14 success at sun drenched Fox’s Biscuits Stadium last Sunday.
It was Batley’s seventh win of the campaign as they followed up a 48-10 victory at Spotland the previous week with another success.
Batley were made to work harder than in the last encounter but still had too much for a youthful Hornets side, who remain second-bottom in the table.
It was Rochdale who made the brighter start and led after five minutes when full-back Declan Kay sent out a long cut-out pass which Robert Massam gathered to storm over for the opening score but Tyler Whittaker was unable to convert.
Batley hit back with a terrific individual try from Dominic Brambani, who produced a lovely side step to create a gap which the scrum-half raced through to score, with Patch Walker tagging on the goal.
Just two minutes later, Batley extended their lead as Alex Rowe showed strength to force his way through the defence before drawing the last man and sending James Harrison over for a try which Walker again converted.
Batley were back on attack when a strong tackle forced Joel Farrell to knock on.
Daniel Yates scooped up the loose ball and fed Massam on the free play.
The winger raced virtually the length of the field before passing to send Den Cross over for a try which Whittaker converted.
Batley responded well to the set back and scored a third try before half-time when Alex Bretherton stepped through the defence and rounded the full-back on his way to the line.
Walker converted and the Bulldogs took an 18-10 lead into the break.
Izaac Farrell had an impressive game at stand off and was supported by Brambani and Walker as they looked to put Rochdale under further pressure, while Joel Farrell made his 100th appearance in Bulldogs colours.
Izaac Farrell claimed his first try at Mount Pleasant when he produced some neat footwork from acting half back to create a gap and nip over for the try but Walker was unable to convert.
Izaac Farrell capped a man-of-the-match performance when he slotted over a drop goal, stretching the lead to 13 points.
Rochdale weren’t finished and hit back with a 73rd minute try as Massam was on the end of some neat play to go over for his second try of the game and Whittaker converted.
Rochdale attempted to rally in the closing stages but the Bulldogs defence remained solid as they ground out victory.
Batley head into this weekend’s Summer Bash at Blackpool in confident mood as they face neighbours Dewsbury Rams in the concluding game on Sunday.