Crunch time at Fox’s Biscuits Stadium
Batley Bulldogs kept hold of their unbeaten start to the season on home turf with a 24-24 draw against full-time opposition, the Bradford Bulls. A last-minute penalty goal from Pat Walker snatched a point for the hosts, but there was slight controversy as a good portion of Bradford fans behind the posts were celebrating due to thinking the ball had gone wide. Referee Ben Thaler and his two touch judges confirmed the kick was successful and there was great scenes on the pitch as the Batley players embraced after overturning a 12 point deficit up the Mount Pleasant Hill. Superb stuff from John Kear’s side. This was Bradford’s second consecutive draw in the league.
Leigh grab win at The Shay
The Centurions probably had bad memories of Halifax’s home ground after last year’s debacle there in the Qualifiers. But they left West Yorkshire with more joy on Sunday as they defeated Halifax 26-18. An immaculate final quarter by the visitors, in which they scored three tries and kicked a penalty goal, proved enough to get them over the line. Tries from Lee Smith, Gareth Hock and Micky Higham overturned a 12-4 deficit to go 22-12 ahead before a Martyn Ridyard penalty goal extended the lead to two converted scores. A late Connor Robinson try brought the hosts back into contention with very little time left on the clock, but another Ridyard penalty goal moments later sealed the deal. Things seem to be settling down at the Leigh club after the drama that had taken place in the past couple of weeks and there will be no happier men than coach Neil Jukes and head of rugby Derek Beaumont.
Victorious weekend for the Cumbrians
A great round of matches for Whitehaven and Workington Town, who picked up wins over Sheffield Eagles and Oldham Roughyeds respectively. The biggest shock of week six came at SHU Sports Park where Haven got the better of Sheffield 26-24. Craig Calvert and Elliot Miller picked up two tries apiece, and their efforts were backed up by scores from Scott McAvoy and Liam Carberry. A Quentin Laulu-Togagae try late in the final quarter brought the Eagles back to within two points of their Cumbrian counterparts but the visiting part-timers held on for a valuable win. Workington, helped massively by the contribution of Jarrod Sammut who scored the first two tries of the contest, defeated fellow strugglers Oldham to register their first victory of the year. With ten minutes of the match to go, the score read 16-12 to Town after Oldham’s Phil Joy crossed the whitewash. The hosts saw the game out well with a penalty goal from Forber, a drop goal by Sammut and a last minute try courtesy of Chris Murphy. Phil Veivers’ men are on the board.
Other Kingstone Press Championship results:
Swinton Lions 10-30 Featherstone Rovers – Featherstone keep on track for a push up the table with a solid victory over Swinton, who are now the only side not to have won a match in the Championship this season.
London Broncos 22-18 Dewsbury Rams – The Broncos went to the top of the table with the win over Dewsbury. Andrew Henderson is doing a great job in Ealing in his first full season in charge, and the Broncos are looking like a force to be reckoned with in the second tier.
Top try-scorers in the Kingstone Press Championship: