Double from Finigan enough for Bulldogs to edge out rivals Halifax

Vinny Finigan
Vinny Finigan
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Batley Bulldogs won their Championship derby against Halifax at the Shay after winger Vinny Finigan’s second try of the game sealed a 10-8 success for John Kear’s side.

Finigan, the former Bradford and Sheffield flyer who had already put the Bulldogs ahead once with a 90-metre sprint, took a floated pass from loose forward Mark Applegarth and dived over in the corner with seconds left on the clock.

Halifax, who have now lost twice in three games, had time to kick off but could do nothing to retrieve a game they will feel they should have won.

Neither side showed much spark in a scoreless first half, although Batley full-back Miles Greenwood and Halifax winger Ben Heaton both had chances, only to be thwarted by poor handling and excellent defence respectively.

The second half was hardly high scoring, but still managed to be compelling as the lead changed hands four times.

Centre Steve Tyrer charged over in the corner to put Halifax ahead just after the break, although his conversion attempt drifted wide of the uprights.

Finigan then turned defence into attack, scooping up a stray pass and racing the length of the field to score, Lee Paterson kicking the visitors into the lead at 6-4.

Halifax replied through Heaton with little more than 10 minutes remaining, the winger soaring above the defence to claim Simon Brown cross-kick, but another Tyrer miss left the score neatly poised at 8-6.

That was how it looked like staying until a succession of handling errors left Halifax penned in their own half and Finigan pounced to score the winner.

Halifax: Potts; Saxton, Tyrer, Casey, Heaton; Brown, Johnston; Tonks, Kaye, Bracek, Manning, Adamson, Murrell. Substitutes: Ambler, Mennell, Davies, Divorty

Batley Bulldogs: Greenwood; Blackmore, Bretherton, Paterson, Finigan; Leak, Leatherbarrow; Smith, Blake, Gledhill, Davies, Scott, Applegarth. Substitutes: Nicholson, Rowe, Brennan, Chandler

Referee: C Leatherbarrow (RFL).

n Workington gained an 18-6 win over Swinton to give caretaker-coach Craig Barker his first success.

Town ran in tries through Karl Olstrum, Scotland international Brett Carter and Graeme Mattinson to lead 16-0 after 28 minutes.

Winger Kevin Penny, playing on a dual registration from Warrington, strruk back for the visitors on 32 minutes and the only points after the break came from a penalty by Workington’s Carl Forber.