Halifax 40 Batley 22: Bulldogs come up with too little too late to trouble Halifax

Batley tryscorer Alex Rowe.
Batley tryscorer Alex Rowe.
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Halifax opened up a six-point gap over Batley in the race for a top-four Championship finish with a convincing 40-22 win at the Shay.

Richard Marshall’s side, who have now won their last six games, were dominant for long spells. The home side were in front inside four minutes, centre James Woodburn-Hall making breaking down the right and putting James Saltonstall over in the corner.

Batley tryscorer Alistair Leek.

Batley tryscorer Alistair Leek.

Steve Tyrer’s conversion sailed wide.

Batley hit back through a charging Danny Cowling, Cain Southernwood’s missed kick leaving the scores locked at 4-4.

Halifax then enjoyed a spell of dominance, scoring twice through full-back Will Sharp and captain Scott Murrell, Tyrer missing one kick from in front but nailing the second for a 14-4 lead. Bulldogs clawed their way back just past the half-hour, winger Jy Hitchcox touching down after Worrincy had tried, and failed, to intercept the pass, Southernwood converting from the sideline.

But the home side got the half-time margin their performance merited when Worrincy rampaged clear down the middle and Shane Grady slid a kick in behind the line for Tyrer to score. The centre’s sideline conversion left Halifax 20-10 up and they scored again five minutes after the break, hooker Brandon Moore storming in after Grady demolished the defence.

Woodburn-Hall touched down from Murrell’s short pass, Tyrer putting Halifax 32-10 ahead with half an hour remaining. Batley rallied, scoring a try through Alex Rowe and pounding the Halifax line for long spells, but with 10 minutes remaining Saltonstall picked off a long ball on his own line and raced the length to score. The visitors scored again through hooker Alistair Leek, Dominic Brambani converting, but it was far too little, too late, a point underlined by Will Sharp’s last-play touchdown.

Halifax: Sharp; Saltonstall, Woodburn-Hall, Tyrer, Worrincy; Murrell, Robinson; Boyle, Kaye, Cahalane, Grady, Tangata, Fairbank. Subs: Barber, Moore, Morris, Reilly.

Batley: Scott; Hitchcox, Smeaton, Cowling, Hallett; Southernwood, Brambani; Gledhill, Leak, Rowe, Day, Farrell, Manning. Subs: Lillycrop, Bretherton, Brown, Holmes.

Referee: Jack Smith.