Halifax 12 Batley Bulldogs 17: Bulldogs bite back as their strong start to season continues apace

Dominic Brambani
Dominic Brambani
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Batley Bulldogs continued their strong start to the Championship season with a thoroughly determined 17-12 win over Halifax at the Shay.

Both sides scored two tries, but Batley, who led 8-6 at the interval, took the points thanks to crucial penalties from Dominic Brambani and Pat Walker and some wasteful finishing from the home team.

In what is becoming a recurring theme for their coach Richard Marshall, Halifax made a succession of chances in both halves, but were frustrated by some robust defence and a lack of the support play that characterised their successful 2015 season. The first quarter was nip and tuck, with neither defence showing sign of cracking. It was Halifax who carved out the first chance, winger Jake Eccleston being called back for a forward pass after a break down the left.

The home side were over the line on the 20 minute mark, half back Gareth Moore stepping through the line and touching down under the posts for a touchdown that was disallowed by referee George Stokes, apparently for an obstruction in the build up.

They did finally crack their visitors on the half-hour though, Moore providing the final pass for back rower Dane Manning to score on the left and Steve Tyrer kicking the conversion for a 6-0 lead.

The home side continued to look the more dangerous, but it was the Bulldogs who landed the sucker punch on the stroke of half-time, and while Halifax started the second half with a try, Batley gained more control as the half progressed and eventually made it pay.

Halifax: Sharp; Eccleston, Heaton, Tyrer, Saltonstall; G. Moore, Murrell; Ambler, Kaye, Cahalane, Divorty, Manning, Tangata. Subs: Fairbank, Maneely, R. Moore, Barber

Bulldogs: Scott; Reittie, Cowling, Ulugia, Ainscough; Southernwood, Brambani; Hirst, Blake, Brown, Bretherton, Chandler, Walker. Subs: Leak, Gledhill, Rowe, Lillycrop

Referee: George Stokes

Kevin Nicholas.

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