Batley Bulldogs slipped to their first defeat in the Kingstone Press Championship, as they were edged out at home by Halifax.
Batley created four excellent first-half chances but were unable to capitalise and visitors Halifax scored the game’s only try from the Bulldogs’ sole defensive lapse of the entire 80 minutes of play.
The first real chance came after 13 minutes when Batley, playing up the Mount Pleasant slope, moved play left and Shaun Squires chipped to the in-goal area.
Winger Johnny Campbell appeared to be obstructed as he attempted to win the race to touch down but no penalty was awarded.
Batley attacked once more and Cain Southernwood’s long pass gave Campbell another excellent chance to score but the pass was judged forward.
Play was brought back for an earlier Fax infringement and Scott Leatherbarrow landed the resulting penalty goal to put Batley 2-0 ahead after 34 minutes.
Halifax’s response was immediate as they launched an attack of their own and stand-off Matt Place stormed through a gap in the Bulldogs defence and over for a try which Steve Tyrer converted.
Batley were stifled of possession for long periods, as they were on the wrong end of a 6-2 penalty count in a second half of few clear cut chances.
The key moment came just two minutes from full-time when Batley kicked through and Wayne Reittie challenged Fax full-back Miles Greenwood.
The ball came loose and, with no cover defence, Batley appeared to have a clear run to the line but referee Joe Cobb ruled that Reittie had fouled Greenwood and awarded Fax a penalty.
Batley Bulldogs: Craven; Reittie, Faal, Squires, Campbell; Southernwood, Leatherbarrow; Rowe, Leak, Lillycrop, Bretherton, Mitchell, Chandler. Substitutes: Nicholson, Blake, Hirst, Brown.
Halifax: Greenwood; Saxton, Taylor, Tyrer, Saltonstall; Place, Murrell; Cahalane, Kaye, Ambler, Robinson, Manning, Bracek. Substitutes: Tangata, Moore, Manneley, Fairbank.
Referee: J Cobb (RFL).