Halifax suffered a setback in the race for a top-four finish in the Championship as Batley Bulldogs triumphed 32-16 at Mount Pleasant.
Richard Marshall’s visitors were very much in a nip-and-tuck contest at 20-16 with three minutes to go, when Batley full-back Dave Scott scored the match-clinching try.
Prop James Brown rumbled over in the last minute to give the scoreline a flattering gloss.
The visitors, playing down the slope, made a near-perfect start, winning a penalty and scoring four plays later when former Batley half-back Gareth Moore’s chip kick was pounced on by centre Steve Tyrer.
Tyrer converted off the sideline. Batley eventually scored just before the half-hour, winger Wayne Reittie scoring off a kick in the corner.
Pat Walker’s conversion attempt hit the post, but the Bulldogs were over again six minutes later when centre Chris Ulugia poked his nose through the line and found winger Shaun Ainscough for a try in the corner.
Batley led 10-6 at half-time but Richard Moore stormed clear to put loan signing Matt Sarsfield under the posts three minutes into the second half, and Tyrer converted to put Halifax 12-10 in front. Batley regained the advantage with Reittie’s second and then went 20-12 up when Pat Walker grabbed a simple try from close range.
Trailing 20-12 inside the final quarter, Halifax needed something special and they got it courtesy of Ben Heaton, who powered over to cut the gap to 20-16. But it was Scott and Batley who had the final word.
Batley: Scott; Reittie, Minikin, Ulugia, Ainscough; Southernwood, Brambani; Hirst, Davey, Rowe, Chandler, Bretherton, Blake. Subs: Walker, Gledhill, Lillycrop, Brown.
Halifax: Greenwood; Saltonstall, Heaton, Tyrer, Sharp; G Moore, Murrell; Bennion, B Moore, Tangata, Manning, Sarsfield, Fairbank. Subs: Kaye, Ambler, R Moore, Robinson.
Referee: Matt Woodhead.