Batley Bulldogs 28 Featherstone Rovers 10: Rovers out of Challenge Cup after Batley’s second-half scoring blitz

Batley players celebrate Dom Brambani's try in the Challenge Cup triumph over Featherstone Rovers. PIC: Paul Butterfield

Batley players celebrate Dom Brambani's try in the Challenge Cup triumph over Featherstone Rovers. PIC: Paul Butterfield

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Three times Challenge Cup winners Featherstone bowed out of this year’s competition with a 28-10 defeat at Batley Bulldogs.

Jon Sharp’s men led 6-4 at half-time in Saturday’s fifth-round clash but they finished well beaten after they were sunk by four tries in a seven-minute second-half spell.

Featherstone, playing down the slope, edged the first-half at a sunny Mount Pleasant. They recovered well after Batley took a seventh-minute lead when Dom Brambani’s high kick set up a try for Shaun Squires.

Five minutes later, Misi Taulapapa’s try-saving tackle rescued Rovers as Alex Bretherton had an effort ruled out for a foot in touch.

Rovers eventually levelled in the 23rd minute with a spectacular breakaway try from Taulapapa. Pat Walker’s 40-20 gave Batley an excellent attacking position but from the resulting scrum Taulapapa stripped the ball from Dave Scott in a one-on-one tackle and raced 80 yards to score.

On half-time, Johnson’s penalty goal edged Rovers ahead after Batley were penalised for ball steal on Andy Bostock.

There was nothing to choose between the teams in the second half until the Bulldogs took charge with a scoring burst that started in the 58th minute when Brambani sliced through Featherstone’s defence to send in 19-year-old James Harrison, son of former Rovers prop Karl. Two minutes later Ainscough went in from Bretherton’s pass and Rovers quickly fell further behind when Brambani darted over.

Keegan Hirst put in Cain Southerwood, with Walker adding the third of his four goals to put the game beyond Rovers. Thackeray created a 71st minute try for Jamie Cording but it was too late as the Bulldogs notched their first Challenge Cup win over Featherstone since 1933.

Batley Bulldogs: Scott; Reittie, Cowling, Squires, Ainscough; Southernwood, Brambani; Hirst, Blake, Brown, Day, Bretherton, Walker. Subs: Gledhill, Lillycrop, Leak, Harrison.

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Johnson, Tagg, Taulapapa, Turner; Milner, Craven; Bostock, Davies Ormodroyd, Cording, Spears, Roche. Subs: Thackeray, Griffin, Cooper, Blockley.

Referee: Gareth Hewer.

Attendance: 1,461.

Neil Kelly.

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