A torrid week for Batley got worse as they suffered a late defeat to local rivals Dewsbury.
After being deducted three league points for fielding an ineligible player, the game had been billed as a must-win for Batley as their points deduction moved them into the relegation zone.
However, they were beaten at the death by their Heavy Woollen rivals, with Shane Grady scoring the winner for Glenn Morrison’s side two minutes before the end.
Batley had been efficient in the opening period, keeping the Rams scoreless despite the visitors having the advantage of the slope and heavy gusts. John Kear’s side were rewarded with a try just before the interval, Wayne Reittie scoring after racing onto Scott Leatherbarrow’s kick. Leatherbarrow’s conversion gave Batley a 6-0 lead at the break.
They extended that advantage five minutes into the second half when Alex Brown picked up a loose pass metres from his own line and raced the full distance to score. Leatherbarrow couldn’t convert.
However Dewsbury overturned the deficit within 20 minutes. Scott Hale scored after a neat move down the left before the outstanding Joel Farrell charged over from close range in the 58th minute. Tom Hemingway kicked one of two conversions before adding a penalty minutes later to nudge Dewsbury ahead. Batley regained the lead seven minutes before the end when Grady’s knock-on allowed Brown to score his second, however Grady made amends two minutes from the end after grounding Anthony Thackeray’s in-goal kick.
Batley: Greenwood, Reittie, Heaton, Faal, Brown, Blake, Leatherbarrow, Smith, Nicholson, Gledhill, Bretherton, Scott, Chandler. Subs: Johnson, Rowe, Applegarth, Davies.
Dewsbury: Pryce, Morton, Hellewell, Wood, Buchanan, Hyde, Thackeray, Hepworth, Hemingway, Haggerty, Hale, Grady, Murphy. Subs: Farrell, Wright, Spicer, Gallagher.
Referee: Joe Cobb.