Batley 19 Bradford Bulls 26: Bulldogs denied famous win as Bradford strike with late tries

Cain Southernwood
Cain Southernwood
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Bradford Bulls scored two tries in the final five minutes to deny Batley Bulldogs a famous Kingstone Press Championship win.

Batley led the full-time Bulls 19-14 going into a dramatic final 10 minutes.

Cain Southernwood was narrowly wide with a 35m penalty, and Bradford launched an attack up the Mount Pleasant slope before Danny Williams touched down on the last tackle. Ryan Shaw’s conversion edged the Bulls 20-19 ahead, befre adding the extras to Chris Ulugia’s last-minute try.

Bradford started brightly when stand-off Lee Gaskell showed a terrific turn of pace to burst through from inside his own 30, before Shaw crossed for a try he converted himself.

Batley replied with a Shaun Squires try, which Southernwood converted from wide out to level. Shaw landed a penalty to edge Bradford back in front, before converting Jake Mullaney’s try just before half-time to lead 14-6.

Batley’s response after the break was superb, Joe Chandler driving over for a try, converted by Southernwood.

Batley continued their momentum and from the next attack, Southernwood fed impressive scrum-half Anthony Nicholson, who switched play back inside for Keegan Hirst to drive for the line.

The powerful prop carried several Bulls defenders over the line to touch down and Southernwood converted.

Johnny Campbell produced a magnificent try-saving tackle to take Ulugia into touch, and when Southernwood slotted over a drop goal, Bulldogs supporters were daring to dream of victory.

Southernwood’s missed penalty attempt in the 69th minute sparked a dramatic finale as Williams and Ulugia scored late tries to spare the Bulls’ blushes and deny Batley a famous home victory.

Batley Bulldogs: Grayston; Reittie, Ainscough, Squires, Campbell; Southernwood, Nicholson; Hirst, Leak, Rowe, Bretherton, Scott, Brown. Substitutes: Chandler, Gledhill, Hesketh, Mitchell.

Bradford Bulls: Mullaney; Williams, Shaw, Henry, Ulugia; Gaskell, Seijka; Clough, O’Brien, Swallow, Walshaw, Olbison, Pitts. Substitutes: Fleming, Tahroui, Lauaki, Conroy.

Referee: G Stokes (RFL).