Champion of Champions Trophy match report: Batley Bulldogs v Halifax

A second-half rally which garnered 11 unanswered points enabled the Bulldogs to become winners of the first Champion of Champions Trophy.

It's an unofficial award dreamt up by directors of Halifax, winners of the last season's Championship play-offs, and Batley who won the Northern Rail Cup but the idea has won a lot of support from sponsors, supporters and even a "disappointed" Matt Calland coach of defeated Halifax.

"I think it's a great idea and I hope it is repeated in future seasons" he said after seeing Batley captain Paul Handforth presented with the cup.

Lacking several first-team regulars Halifax were put under plenty of early pressure and had to kick out from between the sticks on several occasions. But thanks to scrum-half Danny Jones and Lee Paterson they started to turn the game around.

Paul Smith made a scoring opportunity for Sam Barlow but the prop could not hold the ball and three other mighty charges were repulsed by a determined Batley defence before smart work by Jones and Sean Penkiwicz enabled lively James Haley to grab the lead with an unconverted try.

Batley upped the pressure in the second half with forwards Byron Smith,

James Martin and Kris Lythe outstanding.

Scrum-half Handforth produced a break which gained ground and caused sufficient confusion for centre Daley Williams to level the scores with an unconverted try.

Further lack of concentration cost Halifax dear when Batley full-back Ian Preece moved up for a quick play the ball and strolled over the line unchallenged.

Gareth Moore landed the conversion and in the dying minutes reinforced the lead with a measured drop goal to take the spoils.

Batley coach Karl Harrison was delighted with his team's "outstanding defence" and noted that this was the Bulldogs' second trophy of the season – having already picked up the Roy Powell Trophy for victory over Dewsbury a fortnight ago.

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

Halifax: Greenwood; White, Paterson, Haley, Worrincy; Bowman, Jones; S Barlow, Penkiwicz, Cherryholme, Clayton, Bannister, Smith. Subs (all used): J Barlow, Chandler, Fieldhouse, Ratu, Gordon.

Referee: Max Thomason (Warrington).

Attendance: 1,033.

Elland Road.

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