Rams foiled in late fightback as Bulldogs hang onto their lead

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Two tries in the last 10 minutes helped Dewsbury mount a nail-biting – yet ultimately unsuccessful – fightback against arch-rivals Batley.

Batley had looked to be cruising to victory when they romped into a 16-point lead on the hour.

They grabbed two tries in six minutes midway through the first half as scrum-half Gareth Moore collected a Ben Black chip ahead to touch down between the posts and this was quickly followed as centre Jason Walton darted over in the corner.

Rams full-back James Craven signalled Dewsbury’s more determined approach to the second half by romping over in the corner within the first minute of play, but Moore commanded the midfield and gave his team what seemed an unassailable lead with another try.

The Dewsbury defender mis-timed his attempt to kick the ball dead and saw it fly across the try- line to the corner where Moore followed up to collect and score, adding the conversion and a crucial penalty goal within a few minutes.

Former Batley favourite George Flanagan struck with a smart move 10 minutes from time for the Rams and within minutes Dewsbury closed the gap further as winger Austin Buchanan darted down the wing and cut inside to send Cain Southernwood over for another try which Pat Walker converted.

The Rams piled on the pressure during the final minutes, but the Bulldogs just held out for an important victory.

Batley Bulldogs: Preece; Potts, Walton, Williams, Brown; Black, Moore; Smith, Mennell, Potter, Bretherton, Walker, Lythe. Substitutes: Lindsay, Walmsley, Applegarth, Scott.

Dewsbury Rams: Craven; Scott, Esders, Faal, Buchanan; Walker, Spaven; Jones, Cook, Crossley, Spicer, Bolger, Tonks. Substitutes: Flanagan, Smith, Nicholson, Southernwood.

Referee: C Sharrad (RFL).