Late tries deny Bulldogs a memorable double over the Centurions

Dom Brambani
Dom Brambani
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Battling Batley Bulldogs just failed to complete a league double against title favourites Leigh Centurions as two late tries condemned them to a narrow defeat.

John Kear’s Bulldogs, who beat the Centurions in the opening game of the season, were on course to complete the double when they led 30-25 before last-ditch scores from Sam Hopkins and former Wakefield and Leeds back Lee Smith saw them come undone.

It extended the hosts’ winning run to 11 matches and took them seven points clear of the other pre-season tips for the title, Bradford Bulls, who lost at London Broncos.

Former Wigan and Salford second rower Harrison Hansen had earlier scored two tries for Leigh, while Liam Kay and Liam Hood also touched down and Martyn Ridyard kicked six goals and a drop goal.

Batley’s tries came from Shaun Ainscough, Alistair Leak, James Harrison, Alex Bretherton and Dominic Brambani, who also kicked five goals.

Broncos maintained their 100 per cent home record in the Championship with a 30-16 win over Bradford at Ealing.

The Bulls led 14-8 at half-time thanks to two tries from Kris Welham and one from Danny Addy but second rower Dale Ferguson’s sin-binning proved costly as the Broncos went on to rack up their sixth successive home league win.

Andy Ackers and Wales international winger Rhys Williams both scored two tries apiece for London, whose other tries came from former Bulls academy player Ben Hellewell and James Cunningham.

Hunslet Hawks lost 30-22 at home to Doncaster in Championship 1.

Hunslet’s tries were scored by Jimmy Watson, Richie Barnett, James Duckworth and Jake Normington, with Simon Brown booting three goals.