Bulldogs show fighting spirit but Featherstone deliver cutting edge

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Featherstone Rovers registered their fourth consecutive victory in an exciting encounter with Batley.

Six tries for Andy Hay’s side saw them overcome the determined Bulldogs, who continued their resurgence back to form with a credible performance against the Championship high-flyers.

Featherstone’s clinical nature in attack, particularly on the flanks, and ability to nullify Batley near their own line proved the catalyst to the victory, despite going through two torrid periods with discipline and ball retention that saw Batley score 20 of their points.

Two early tries from Greg Worthington and Ben Hellewell put the visitors in control before a try from winger Ben Blackmore, on dual registration from Huddersfield, gave the Bulldogs hope.

A penalty from Scott Leatherbarrow narrowed the margin to two before Matty Dale’s try following Gareth Moore’s break three minutes before the interval put the Rovers back in the ascendency with a 16-8 lead at half-time.

Similarly to the second-half, early tries from Danny Bridge and Ian Hardman pushed Featherstone out of sight before Ben Blackmore responded again for the Bulldogs with a well-taken try in the corner. But a Jack Bussey try out wide, with Moore again being at the heart of the move, sealed victory for the Rovers.

However the hosts refused to surrender and deservedly registered a bonus point with late tries from Lee Paterson and Alex Rowe leaving the scoreboard respectable at the final whistle.

Batley Bulldogs: Greenwood, Finigan, Paterson, Griffin, Blackmore, Black, Leatherbarrow, Smith, Blake, Mullally, Bretherton, Chandler, Davies. Substitutes: Rowe, Nicholson, Gledhill, Leary.

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman, Sharp, Worthington, Mendeika, Hellewell, Kain, Moore, Crossley, Ellis, Green, Cording, Spears, Lockwood. Substitutes: Bussey, Bridge, Trout, Dale.

Referee: J Cobb (RFL).

Barrow defeated Rochdale 
38-18 to move off the foot of the Championship table with former Great Britain scrum-half Bobbie Goulding coming out of retirement at the age of 42 to play.