FRUSTRATED Batley lost out 23-16 to Featherstone in the 78th minute after squandering a 16-0 lead.
John Kear’s side seemed in complete control at Mount Pleasant after an impressive first-half display. Hooker Matt Fozard opened the scoring with a fourth-minute try that Cain Southernwood converted and second-row Sam Scott added another soon after
Winger Sean Ainscough crossed on the half-hour to go into the break 14-0 ahead.
Southernwood tagged on a 52nd-minute penalty but the visitors’ Ben Blackmore struck with two tries in quick succession up to the hour.
One-time Bulldog Gareth Moore converted the first and then did so again when Reni Maitua scored a try on his long-awaited debut in the 69th minute. That levelled the contest but it was Featherstone who crucially had all the momentum.
Moore lined up to take a drop goal with two minutes to go but instead avoided the charging Batley defence and switched the play to winger Will Sharp who raced in at the corner. Moore did slot a drop goal over for good measure in the penultimate minute.
Batley: Grayston, Reittie, Bretherton, Squires, Ainscough, Southernwood, Leak, Hirst, Fozard, Rowe, Scott, Mitchell, Chandler. Subs: Nicholson, Hesketh, Lillycrop, Brown.
Featherstone: Hitchcox, Blackmore, Hardman, Minns, Sharp, Sykes, Moore, Baldwinson, Ellis, Bostock, Cording, Maitua, Spears. Sbus: Irwin, Foster, Tonks, Bussey.
Referee: George Stokes.