Batley 24 Halifax 6: Visitors suffer as familiar faces help Bulldogs chalk up first points

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Halifax suffered a second successive Championship loss as Batley dominated every aspect of a 24-6 success at Mount Pleasant.

Matt Diskin’s side, thrashed last week in Toulouse, were physically and tactically too good for Richard Marshall’s team, who consistently undermined their cause with a string of penalties and errors.

The Bulldogs were in front after two minutes, after a passage of play that just about summed up the opening half.

A penalty on half way put the Bulldogs on the attack and a little kick from Dominic Brambani was pounced on by former Fax centre Sam Smeaton, Pat Walker converting for a 6-0 lead.

Batley scored a second try through Liam Bretherton after 23 minutes, James Davey the architect from dummy half and Walker obliging with the conversion.

Trailing 12-0, Fax were already up against it and might have gone further behind when Mike Hawkyard and former Halifax player Dane Manning were stopped inches short.

In the end, holding out until the break proved beyond them, another penalty rolling Batley up the slope and Manning scoring.

Walker converted for an 18-0 lead that looked every inch a match-winning advantage.

And so it proved, with the sniff of a second half comeback, the result of a couple of decent kicks from Murrell and a little more energy with the ball, proving an illusion.

The Bulldogs put things beyond any doubt on 62 minutes, a third former Halifax player, the forward Joe Chandler, scoring against his old club and Walker converting for 24-0.

Fax finally broke their duck with four minutes remaining, Woodburn-Hall making space neatly and James Saltonstall, easily Fax’s best player on the day, scoring by the flag for Steve Tyrer to convert.

Halifax: Robinson; Saltonstall, Tyrer, Woodburn-Hall, Worrincy; Murrell, Moore; Boyle, Wilkinson, Cahalane, Tangata, Grix, Fairbank. Substitutes: Barber, Johnston, Ambler, Mammone.

Batley: Scott; Hayward, Smeaton, Hallett, Ainscough; Walker, Brambani; Lillycrop, Davey, Maher, Bretherton, Manning, Day. Substitutes: Southernwood, Brown, Chandler, Harrison.