Batley Bulldogs made a disappointing start to their Championship Shield programme, going down 30-12 at Workington Town.
Batley went into the game in decent form having won three of their last four matches of the regular season but never recovered from a slow start.
Defeat leaves the Bulldogs three points behind Workington as they chase a top-four place which would see them into the Shield semi-finals.
Scrum-half Jarrod Sammu was at the hub of Town’s best moves and the Cumbrians took control with two tries in the space of three minutes midway through the first half.
Summut broke the deadlock with a 2oth minute try which he converted and Jarrod Stack crossed soon after.
Things got worse for Batley as substitute forward James Brown was sin-binned for an alleged use of the elbow and Workington capitalised on their numerical advantage when Jamie Doran’s lovely pass sent Jack Murphy away on a diagonal run to the line. Sammut tagged on the conversion.
Batley pulled a score back before half-time when centre Chris Ulugia continued his good form since joining on loan from Bradford with a try which Scott Leatherbarrow converted to send the Bulldogs into the interval 16-6 behind.
Town extended their advantage just a minute after the restart when a dangerous Sammut kick was not dealt with by Alex Brown and Kurton Horton pounced for an unconverted try.
Batley responded well and Sean Hesketh’s barging run saw him carry several defenders over the try line and he managed to get the ball down, with Leatherbarrow converting.
The travelling Bulldogs support had hopes that their side would produce a storming second half fightback and watched the Bulldogs put Workington under severe pressure but the home defence held firm.
Having weathered the storm, Workington struck the decisive blow eight minutes from full-time.
Hooker Callum Phillips scored a fine individual try, weaving and jinking his way past several tackles in an excellent run to the line.
Carl Forber took over the kicking duties to land the conversion.
The try took the wind out of Batley’s sails and Workington sealed victory with a sixth try in the final minute as winger Elliott Miller gathered Liam McAvoy’s pass to dive over as Town put daylight between themselves and the Bulldogs.