Bulldogs strike late to seal victory

Matty Fozard made a big impact after coming off the bench as Batley completed a terrific comeback win.
Matty Fozard made a big impact after coming off the bench as Batley completed a terrific comeback win.

Cain Southernwood scored a try four minutes from time as Batley Bulldogs snatched a dramatic 16-14 victory at Doncaster last Sunday.

The Bulldogs trailed by four points as Doncaster looked like earning their first win of the season until Southernwood barged over from acting half-back to level matters, with his conversion ensuring Batley left the Keepmoat Stadium victorious.

Doncaster made a lively start with player-coach Paul Cooke leading them having put himself back in his side’s starting line-up.

Cooke was held up over the try line early on before he launched an up and under which pounced favourably for Jansin Turgut to gather and score.

Dave Scott converted and added a penalty from in front of the posts as the home side raced into an 8-0 lead.

Mitch Clark forced his way over from close range and with Scott again converting, Doncaster were in control.

Coach John Kear introduced loanee Matty Fozard, James Brown, Tom Lillycrop and Adam Gledhill from the bench and the momentum swung in Batley’s favour.

Brown charged at the Dons’ defence and forced his way over to get his side back into the game.

Southernwood converted but missed the chance to further reduce the arrears when he sliced a penalty wide.

Doncaster had two chances to extend their 14-6 interval lead early in the second half but Mike Emmett was held up over the line before Liam Welham sold a brilliant dummy and raced through.

Welham looked to have sent Sam Doherty in at the right corner but he was brilliantly tackled into touch by full-back Johnny Campbell.

The game was held up with Campbell injured and he was stretchered from the field before the Bulldogs applied late pressure.

They hit back with a 69th minute try as Anthony Nicholson’s neat grubber was pounced on by winger Wayne Reittie to score in the corner.

Southernwood was unable to add the difficult conversion but Batley had confidence and finished the game strongly.

With less than five minutes remaining, Southernwood sparked Bulldogs celebrations when he crashed over and added the conversion to seal a third win of the season.

Victory leaves Batley sixth in the Kingstone Press Championship table, level on six points with Dewsbury Rams ahead of tomorrow’s Heavy Woollen derby at Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.