Featherstone’s winning streak ended by Kear’s Bulldogs team

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BATLEY continued their impressive start under new coach John Kear by ending Featherstone’s 15-match winning run.

The Bulldogs recovered from 8-0 down to maintain their 100 per cent record by inflicting Featherstone’s first defeat in any competition for nine months.

Rovers, who like Batley have reached the knock-out stages, went ahead after two minutes when Greg Worthington pounced on Liam Finn’s neat kick to score.

Batley’s Adam Scott had an effort ruled out for offside before Featherstone increased their lead when a superb move involving Worthington, Finn and Jonnny Hepworth paved the way for Kyle Briggs and Sam Smeaton to send in Tim Spears.

The Bulldogs turned the game on its head by replying with four tries in a blistering 11-minute spell.

The scoring burst started when Rovers full-back Tom Carr lost possession in a tackle near his own posts and Craig Potter scooped up the ball to cross and Palfrey added the first of his five goals.

Palfrey then put in Gareth Fordsham for a touchdown and Johnny Campbell hacked on the ball several times to grab a long range try before Tom Henderson and Ian Preece made the opening for Daley Williams to score.

Palfrey kicked a penalty shortly before half-time to put the Bulldogs 24-8 up.

Featherstone reduced the deficit to 10 points when Andy Kain’s weaving run set up a 51st-minute try for captain Stuart Dickens that Finn improved but the Bulldogs sealed victory when Chris Buttery grabbed two tries by twice capitalising on Palfrey’s high kicks.

Featherstone’s Sam Smeaton and Batley’s Alex Bretherton were sin-binned for fighting in the 74th minute and Rovers prop Spears was sent off after another brawl three minutes later.

Rovers completed the scoring with late tries from Matty Dale and Tangi Ropati.

Featherstone Rovers: Carr; Saxton, Smeaton, Worthington, Ropati; Briggs, Finn; England, Kaye, Dickens, Dale, Spears, Hepworth. Substitutes: Kain, Mvududu, Maloney, Freer.

Batley Bulldogs: Preece; Campbell, Buttery, Williams, Mills; Palfrey, Henderson; Potter, Lythe, Menzies, Tooley, Scott, Applegarth. Substitutes: Mennell, Hirst, Bretherton, Frodsham.

Referee: J Leahy (Dewsbury).