Battling Bulldogs give Castleford Tigers a fright

Co-op Championship outfit Batley gave engage Super League's Castleford Tigers a much stiffer test than the final scoreline suggests in this highly-competitive friendly.

Castleford Tigers 42

Batley Bulldogs 22

The sides were level at 18-18 midway through the second period and Batley were left regretting a missed opportunity which could arguably have led to a different outcome.

Bulldogs sub Johnny Campbell turned defence into attack when intercepting a pass by Tigers stand-off Rangi Chase but Chase recovered impressively and his ankle-tap on halfway caused Campbell's attempted pass to go to ground.

Cas made the most of the possession, centre Joe Arundel crossing and that score was followed by tries in the final quarter for sub Jake Emmitt, second-row Jonathan Walker, and youngster Daryl Clark.

Second-row Craig Huby landed the last two conversions to complement winger Kirk Dixon's five goals from as many attempts to complete a satisfactory afternoon for the Tigers, for whom prop Nick Fozzard made a solid debut.

Scrum-half Danny Orr, hooker Ryan Hudson and loose-forward Oliver Holmes – after two disallowed efforts – crossed earlier for Cas.

Enterprising Batley, well led by scrum-half Paul Handforth, stand-off Paul Mennell and sub Gareth Moore, had enjoyed parity through touchdowns by full-back Ian Preece and centre Daley Williams (2). Moore landed two conversions and Mennell one.

Bulldogs at least had the satisfaction of registering the closing try, sub Pat Foulstone squeezing in at the corner after a sweeping cross-field move.

Castleford: Eden, Dixon, Thompson, Arundel, Blackmore, Chase, Orr, Fozzard, Hudson, Walker, Huby, Snitch, Holmes. Subs (all used): Atkinson, Harris, Davies, Clark, Holmes, Massey, Emmitt.

Batley: Preece, Brown, Williams, Maun, Reittie, Mennell, Handforth, Smith, Lythe, Martin, Bretherton, Walton, Toohey, Subs (all used): Moore, Lindsay, Potter, Hesketh, Tootill, Campbell, Foulstone.

Referee: Dave Merrick

Attendance: 1,622.

Kalvin Phillips celebrates scoring Leeds' second goal of the game Picture by Simon Hulme

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