Batley Bulldogs 19 Bradford Bulls 26: Last-gasp tries end Bulldogs’ hopes of a famous win

Keegan Hirst.
Keegan Hirst.
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Bradford Bulls scored two tries in the final five minutes to deny Batley Bulldogs a famous win in the Kingstone Press Championship.

Batley led the full-time Bulls 19-14 going into a dramatic final 10 minutes.

But after former Bradford half-back Cain Southernwood had missed a penalty, the visitors launched an attack up the Mount Pleasant slope and moved play left on the last tackle.

Winger Danny Williams kicked ahead, won the race and gathered the ball to dive over in the corner.

Ryan Shaw stood up to curl over the touchline conversion and edge the Bulls 20-19 ahead.

Then in the final minute, right winger Chris Ulugia was on the end of a passing move as he dived in at the corner and Shaw landed another superb touchline goal with the last kick of the game. It was harsh on Batley, who had fallen behind to Shaw’s self-converted try, but hit back when centre Shaun Squires showed neat footwork to knock the ball forward and win the race to touchdown.

Southernwood converted from wide out to level.

Shaw landed a penalty to edge Bradford back in front as the frenetic opening quarter continued.

The same player’s kick created a try for full-back Jake Mullaney, which Shaw goaled.

Batley got back in it at the start of the second half as Squires was taken out off the ball and from the resulting penalty, Joe Chandler drove for the line and managed to get the ball down despite a crowd of players.

Southernwood converted to reduce the deficit to 14-12.

Batley continued their momentum and from the next attack, Southernwood fed impressive scrum-half Anthony Nicholson, who switched play back inside for Keegan Hirst to drive for the line.

The powerful prop carried several Bulls defenders over the line to touch down and Southernwood converted.

Batley Bulldogs: Grayston; Reittie, Ainscough, Squires, Campbell; Southernwood, Nicholson; Hirst, Leak, Rowe, Bretherton, Scott, Brown. Subs: Chandler, Gledhill, Hesketh, Mitchell.

Bradford Bulls: Mullaney; Williams, Shaw, Henry, Ulugia; Gaskell, Seijka; Clough, O’Brien, Swallow, Walshaw, Olbison, Pitts. Subs: Fleming, Tahroui, Lauaki, Conroy.

Referee: George Stokes.

Attendance: 2,223.