A Dominic Brambani drop-goal four minutes from time helped Batley book their place in the fifth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.
Two tries from Alex Rowe and scores from Alex Brown, James Davey, Wayne Reittie and Joe Chandler helped the home side to victory. Whitehaven approached the game with confidence in their attacking abilities after they beating full-time Sheffield Eagles the week before.
Batley opened the scoring but Whitehaven responded in terrific fashion, as they did throughout the arm wrestle.
James Davey’s introduction for his first appearance since the opening day of the season made for an immediate impact, picking up the ball from dummy-half 15 metres out, his acceleration wrong-footed the Whitehaven line enabling him to power over just to the right of the posts.
Batley were on the ascendency and they drew level on their very next opportunity.
Haven seemed unsettled and the Bulldogs smelt blood, scoring their third try in a seven-minute spell and by half-time the Bulldogs held a 24-18 lead.
Rowe’s second try stretched Batley’s lead to 12 points five minutes into the second half.
With Batley kicking downhill and leading by 12 points, it would seem that most people had written off Haven’s chances of getting back into the game – but that’s exactly what they did do.
Grant Gore scored a magnificent solo try, starting from his own 30-metre line.
The home side restored their 12-point advantage but couldn’t shake Whitehaven off.
And it took a Brambani drop-goal four minutes from time to give Batley a dramatic win.
Brambani received the ball 25 metres out from the Haven posts and fired it between the uprights to put the Bulldogs in the hat for the fifth round.