Batley Bulldogs 18 Dewsbury Rams 16: Bulldogs return to top four after recording treble over their keenest rivals

Dewsbury's Paul Sykes and Batley match-winner Pat Richards.
Dewsbury's Paul Sykes and Batley match-winner Pat Richards.
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Batley Bulldogs moved back into the top four of the Kingstone Press Championship following an 18-16 victory over Dewsbury Rams.

Dewsbury started the game superbly and raced into a 10-0 lead inside the opening 10 minutes, despite playing up the slope. Andy Kain set up an attack in the opening minute; although it initially broke down, Dewsbury stormed back and a neat short pass sent centre Jason Crookes barging over.

Dewsbury forced the Bulldogs to drop out on the back of a penalty and they moved play right with Kain racing through a gap and over for a try which Paul Sykes converted.

Frankie Mariano looked to have pulled a try back for the Bulldogs but was pulled back for offside having latched onto a kick. Batley stormed back down the slope and winger Alex Brown crossed for a try in the corner, with Dominic Brambani tagging on a terrific touchline goal.

Just two minutes later, Batley grabbed their second try when Chris Ulugia showed strength to force his way over wide out and Brambani edged the Bulldogs ahead with another superb goal.

Pat Walker missed the chance to put Batley further ahead when he sliced a penalty wide but the Bulldogs added a third try before half-time as a lovely passing move ended with Tom Lillycrop sending Alex Bretherton over wide on the right.

Walker was unable to convert but Batley led 16-10 at the break.

Dewsbury hit back just 40 seconds after the re-start when full-back Josh Guzdek burrowed under a host of bodies to plant the ball down for an unconverted try. Sykes struck the right-hand post with a penalty but was on target shortly after with a second effort which levelled matters at 16-16.

Pat Walker edged Batley back in front with a 30-metre penalty after 55 minutes. Bulldogs winger Wayne Reittie was sin-binned 12 minutes fromtime but Batley dug deep to withstand severe Rams pressure and complete a victory treble over their rivals.

Batley Bulldogs: Scott; Reittie, Ulugia, Mariano, A Brown; Southernwood, Brambani; Hirst, Davey, J Brown, Bretherton, Chandler, Gledhill, Subs: Rowe, Lillycrop, Walker, Day.

Dewsbury Rams: Guzdek; Morton, walshaw, Crookes, Grant; Sykes, Kain; Groat, Speakman, Trout, Spicer, Hale, Adamson. Subs: Conroy, Hepworth, Muranka, Stringer.

Referee: Jack Smith.

Attendance: 1,501.