Batley Bulldogs 22 Swinton Lions 18: Three late tries complete Batley’s fine fightback

Cain Southernwood.
Cain Southernwood.
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Batley Bulldogs produced a superb fightback to grind out victory against Swinton Lions in atrocious conditions at Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.

Batley trailed 18-6 after an hour but scored three tries in the final quarter as they secured a third win in the Kingstone Press Championship.

Swinton took a fifth-minute lead as winger Shaun Robinson was on the end of a lovely passing move to score in the right corner.

Ollie Davies then gathered a neat offload from Ben White to score Swinton’s second try, which Chris Atkin converted.

Batley replied as Dominic Brambani stabbed the ball towards the line. A Swinton defender made a hash of collecting the ball and Dave Scott scooped it up to slide over, with Cain Southernwood converting.

Atkin hammered over a penalty to extend Swinton’s half-time lead to 12-6.

Swinton extended their lead when Andy Bracek dived over wide on the left and Atkin kicked a penalty.

As conditions worsened, Batley produced their best rugby and piled on the pressure.

Southernwood produced a lovely kick through and Macauley Hallett pounced for a try which Southernwood improved.

Scott then charged through a gap to score and reduce the deficit to two points.

Batley turned down a penalty shot at goal, which would have levelled matters, but their decision paid off as they forced Swinton onto the back foot.

Scott’s jinking run put Batley on the attack and they moved left for Hallett to spin out of a tackle and over for a 75th-minute try which put the Bulldogs ahead.

Southernwood was off target with the conversion attempt but hammered over a penalty two minutes from time to seal the victory.

Batley Bulldogs: Scott; Reittie, Smeaton, Hallett, Hayward; Southernwood, Brambani; Maher, Walker, Gledhill, Manning, Day, Farrell. Substitutes: Holmes, Bretherton, Rowe, Lillycrop.

Swinton Lions: Murphy; Robinson, Hankinson, Thornley, Butt; White, Atkin; Bracek, Kenny, Lever, Dwyer, Davies, Bate. Substitutes: Austin, Nicholson, Barlow, Gardner.

Referee: J Roberts (England).