Leigh Centurions 18 Batley Bulldogs 24: Poor start overcome as Bulldogs get league season off to promising start

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Batley Bulldogs came back from behind in style to get their Championship campaign off to a winning start.

It was first blood Leigh as two tries in the first six minutes put Batley on the back-foot. Rob Parker grabbed the first Leigh try and was followed by dual-contract man Ryan Shaw.

But two tries in two minutes tipped the game in the Bulldogs favour. First Alex Bretherton went in on the left and then Paul Mennell went down the middle for Ian Preece to cross in support with Moore levelling with the conversion.

Batley showed why they had won all four Northern Rail Cup games with a typically dogged display and the Bulldogs largely dominated with Alex Bown a threat and Gareth Moore unluckily brought back on the intervention of the video referee.

At the start of the second half, Ben Black kicked for Preece and Gareth Moore converted. The Bulldogs went further ahead when Gareth Potts went over with Moore converting before adding a penalty.

Leigh hit back after 57 minutes through Shaw.

Batley rode their luck as Leigh were caught offside chasing a Duffy kick. The Leigh captain himself then saw a try disallowed. Leigh eventually gave themselves a chance when Adam Clay sailed in at the corner.

But Ryan Brierley hit the posts with his conversion attempt for a second time to leave Batley six points up, a lead they were able to hold on to.

Leigh Centurions: McNally, Maden, Shaw, Gardner, Clay; Ridyard, Duffy, Bibey, Beswick, Parker, Briscoe, Goulden, Hopkins. Substitutes: Brierley, Worrincy, Taylor, Ostick

Batley Bulldogs: Preece, Potts, Walton, Maun, Brown; Black, Moore; Smith, Mennell, Potter, Bretherton, Walker, Lythe. Substitutes: Lindsay, Walmsley, Applegarth, Palfrey. Referee: Matt Thomason.

Holders Leigh will play 2010 winners Batley in the quarter-finals of the Northern Rail Cup.

The full draw is: Leigh v Batley, Keighley v Featherstone, Halifax v Barrow, Sheffield v Hunslet. Ties to be played from June 14-17.

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