Bulldogs suffer agonising defeat away to Barrow

Full-back Dave Scott crossed for Batley's opening try but it wasn't enough to prevent a narrow defeat away to Barrow Raiders last Sunday.
Full-back Dave Scott crossed for Batley's opening try but it wasn't enough to prevent a narrow defeat away to Barrow Raiders last Sunday.

Batley Bulldogs suffered an agonising 20-18 defeat at Barrow Raiders last Sunday as the home side grabbed a 78th minute match winning try.

Batley welcomed back Patch Walker from a back injury and he had a fine game, scoring a try and kicking three conversions but his efforts ultimately proved in vain.

Alex Bretherton and Joe Chandler also returned to the Bulldogs following brief stints on dual registration at Hunslet.

Both sides were guilty of handling errors in a scrappy opening, while early chances went begging at either end.

Shane Toal, who himself was returning from injury for Barrow, looked to have been sent away for a try only to be brought back for a forward pass.

Alistair Leak also had a chance for Batley but the hooker knocked on 10 metres from the try line.

Barrow took a 10th minute lead through a Jamie Dallimore penalty but Batley hit back with a converted try soon after.

Batley had Barrow on the back foot with some quick play the balls and a slick handling move ended with Dominic Brambani sending full-back Dave Scott racing over and Walker converted.

Batley repelled a spell of Barrow pressure, while the Raiders were dealt a blow when Declan Hulme was forced out of the action with a head injury.

Barrow struck three minutes before half-time as Joe Bullock picked up the ball in his own half and burst through several tackles on a rampaging 60 metre run to the line.

Dallimore converted as the home side edged into an 8-6 half-time lead.

Bretherton drove Batley close to the line where Brambani scooted over from acting half-back six minutes after the re-start and Walker converted as Batley regained the lead.

The lead changed hands once again, on 51 minutes, as Bullock broke through and offloaded to Australian hooker Dean Parata, who crossed between the posts to give Dallimore a simple conversion as Barrow edged 14-12 ahead.

Batley produced their best rugby of the game and looked to have struck a decisive blow just before the hour mark.

Several neat attacking plays took them close to the line and Bretherton drove the ball in and offloaded to send Walker over for a try, which the stand off improved as Batley hit the front for a third time.

Batley defended superbly in the energy sapping heat as they repelled four successive sets in their own territory.

The Bulldogs had chance to wrap the game up as Brad Day took play close to the Raiders line but his difficult offload went to ground.

Batley still appeared on the verge of ending Barrow’s long unbeaten home record but with just two minutes remaining, the Raiders struck the decisive blow.

Scrum-half Ryan Johnston produced a terrific jinking run through the defence to go over for the try and Dallimore’s conversion was enough to secure a narrow win.