Batley Bulldogs 38 Rochdale Hornets 36: Hornets stung by Bulldogs’ late-game turnaround

Tryscorer Tom Lillycrop.
Tryscorer Tom Lillycrop.
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Batley Bulldogs produced a sensational comeback to grab victory over Rochdale Hornets.

Bulldogs trailed 36-22 with six minutes left but scored three tries to snatch victory.

Double tryscorer Shaun Ainscough.

Double tryscorer Shaun Ainscough.

Matthew Hadden was sin-binned for holding down and from the penalty, a long pass sent Shaun Ainscough over. Ainscough grabbed his second in as many minutes and Dominic Brambani landed a touchline goal to reduce the deficit to four points.

With two minutes left, Brambani broke through and sent Tom Lillycrop storming to the line and Brambani converted to complete the win.

Rochdale had built a commanding lead before the late comeback. Winger Robert Massam opened the scoring after 10 minutes, converted by Harvey Livett. Livett scored and converted before Benjamin Jullien raced over, with Livett converting for 16-0.

Macauley Hallett replied with an unconverted try but Lewis Galbraith scored Rochdale’s fourth try and Livett kicked another excellent goal.

Dominic Brambani missed a few conversions but landed the winner after Batley's late-game fightback victory over Rochdale.

Dominic Brambani missed a few conversions but landed the winner after Batley's late-game fightback victory over Rochdale.

Sam Smeaton stretched over for Bulldogs and Rochdale had Jonathan Smith sin-binned, and Brambani produced a lovely chip for Hallett to score.

Batley went into the break 22-12 down. Rochdale were still down to 12 men when Ben Moores kicked through and Hadden gathered to score.

Livett converted then added a penalty after Batley prop James Brown was sin-binned for a high tackle as the visitors led 30-12. Full-back Jack Johnson broke through a static defence for Rochdale’s sixth try which Livett converted.

Smeaton capitalised on Batley pressure with his second try wide on the right but Brambani was off target with the conversion. Will Maher then surged over from 10 metres out and Brambani landed his first goal before three late Bulldogs tries completed a dramatic comeback.

Batley Bulldogs: Hayward; Reittie, Smeaton, Hallett, Ainsough; Holmes, Brambani; Rowe, Leak, Maher, Day, Harrison, Chandler. Subs: Davey, Lillycrop, Brown, Hill.

Rochdale Hornets: Johnson; Eccleston, Jullien, Galbraith, Massam; Livett, Yates; Taira, Maneely, Bennion, Smith, Savelio, Middlehurst. Subs: Moores, Tahraoui, Hadden, Case.

Referee: Callum Straw.

Attendance: 718.

Kevin Nicholas.

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