Bulldogs suffer defeat at hands of Bulls

Batley Bulldogs slipped to a fifth defeat in the Betfred Championship as they went down 16-6 at home to Bradford Bulls.

The Bulldogs were poor on attack as they were restricted to a Danny Yates second half try and Bradford were able to end a three-match losing run.

The game was played out in atrocious conditions - especially in the first half - as wind, rain and hail lashed Mount Pleasant but the Bulls were able to establish a 16-0 half-time lead having played down the slope, which proved key to their success.

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There were handling errors in the early stages, which prevented either side getting a foothold in the game.

Sam Hallas went close for Bradford but knocked on when stretching for the line following a strong run, while Batley attempted to build pressure at the other end as Dominic Brambani’s neat kick forced a drop out before Danny Yates again stabbed the ball forward but the Bulls defence were on hand to clear the danger.

Bradford took the lead in the 21st minute as Batley knocked on from a kick through and the Bulls moved play quickly left early in their repeat set, creating space for Ethan Ryan to score in the corner but it was too wide out for Jordan Lilley to convert in the swirling wind.

Bradford pressed again on the half hour and a neat handling move ended with Brandan Pickersgill sending Ross Oakes through a gap and he scored close enough to the posts for Lilley to add the goal.

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Bradford would have been satisfied to lead 10-0 at half-time but things improved further with a third try before the break.

Hallas was held close to the line before ex Batley man George Flanagan sold a dummy and twisted in a tackle but he too was held before Liam Kirk crashed over next to the posts and Lilley converted to put the Bulls in control.

Batley were given an opportunity to build momentum at the start of the second half but failed to find touch with a penalty.

Bradford were awarded a penalty as Batley were pulled up for holding down but Lilley’s relatively easy goal attempt crashed against the right post and bounced dead.

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James Brown drove Batley close to the line at the other end and had the ball stripped in a tackle but the Bulldogs were unable to take advantage as a wayward pass went to ground.

From a rare glimpse of quality from the Bulldogs, Johnny Campbell leaped for a high kick towards the in-goal but was impeded challenging for the ball.

Batley were awarded a second penalty and Brown stormed for the line only to be penalised having been tackled short.

Batley attacked again on the back of another penalty and Campbell broke through before slipping an inside pass to send Danny Yates storming over next to the posts and Dave Scott converted.

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Steve Crossley were penalised and the Bulls were put on a team warning but Batley were unable to take advantage and any hope of a late fight back was ended when Tom Lillycrop was sin-binned for a late, high tackle on Mikey Wood.

Batley Bulldogs: Scott; Tomlinson, Smeaton, Galbraith, Campbell; Yates, Brambani; Everett, Hemingway, Lillycrop, Downs, Brearley, Dickinson. Subs: Brown, Leak, Bienek, Gledhill.

Bradford Bulls: OPickersgill; Foggin-Johnston, Evans, Oakes, Ryan; Lilley, Wildie; Bustin, Hallas, Crossley, Webster, Farrell, WOod. Subs: Green, Krk, Storton, Flanagan.

Referee: Michael Mannifield.

Attendance: 2,393.