London 25 Batley 18: Bulldogs leave it too late as Broncos hold on

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London Broncos held off a late Batley Bulldogs charge to claim a 25-18 victory at the Hive.

Late Batley tries from Wayne Rettie and two from Sean Hesketh were not enough for John Kear’s men to turn the game around against a London Broncos side that are now unbeaten at home in their first four games.

The defeat for the Bulldogs means the West Yorkshire club only have one win from the last six Championship matches.

Broncos bulldozed out of the blocks with two tries in the opening 12 minutes to really set the tone for the first half. Matt Garside galloped over the line after some impressive passing before Daniel Harrison followed. Fijian Wes Naiqama converted both to make the score 12-0.

The visitors could not make 20 minutes of pressure tell and were punished when Jamie Thackray broke well, offloaded to Elliot Minchella who shifted the ball into the grateful Ben Hellewell to score. Youngster Oscar Thomas converted before half time.

Hesketh gave Batley a lifeline early in the second half with his first try only for Broncos to restore their advantage five minutes later through Elliot Minchella on his home debut.

Batley applied good pressure but it took until the 71st minute for the Bulldogs to record their second try through Rettie on the wing. Hesketh’s second try set up a frantic last five minutes with Batley only a converted try away from sharing the spoils but Thomas’ last minute drop goal dashed all hopes for a Batley revival.

London: Hellewell, Williams, Farrar, Naiqama, Macani, Keyes, Thomas, Lovegrove, Dwyer, Williams, Harrison, Garside, Minchella Substitutes: Nasso, Thackray, Dollapi, Everett.

Batley: Grayston, Rettie, Hey, Bretherson, Ainscough, Southerwood, Leak, Hirst, Blake, Rowe, Scott, Thackray, Mitchell. Substitutes: Nicholson, Gledhill, Hesketh, Mitchell.

Referee: A Sweet (RFL).