Batley Bulldogs 24 Featherstone Rovers 31: Bulldogs denied after late Featherstone try

featherstone raised their game to snatch victory out of defeat with seven vital points in the final moments of this ding-dong battle.

“It showed the players had character and the right attitude,” said delighted Rovers coach Darryl Powell who had been dismayed by their poor performance against league leaders Halifax the previous week.

In fact until the closing moments it looked as though Rovers were going to suffer another setback as Batley appeared to have created victory out of defeat.

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They roared back from 20-6 down at the interval and, thanks to two tries from Gary Potts, another storming touchdown from Keegan Hirst and three conversions by Gareth Moore, opened up a 24-20 lead.

That was when Rovers’ half backs Liam Finn and Andy Kain started to click more effectively and brought their forwards into the fray with devastating effect.

Backed up by Sam Smeaton the half backs raced up the Mount Pleasant slope to provide an opening for Anthony England.

He got over the line but was prevented from touching down. From the restart Finn and John Hepworth moved the ball so smartly Greg Worthington had plenty of space to race over the line.

Rovers increased the pressure still further and twice forced Batley to kick out from between their posts, before Kain sent a drop-goal sailing between the Batley posts to snatch a narrow lead.

Batley tried to relieve the pressure but at that point lacked impressive forwards Hirst and new signing James Green, from Hull KR, who had inspired their second-half revival.

Instead they grasped at straws as Rovers hiked up the pressure and sent England over the line three minutes from time for a converted try which settled the match.

Batley: Preece; Potts, Walton, Maun, Brown; Black, Moore; Smith, Mennell, Potter, Applegarth, Grehan, Lythe. Substitutes: Campbell, Hirst, Green, Lindsay.

Featherstone: Hardman; Chappel, Smeaton, Hepworth, Worthington; Kain, Finn; England, Kaye, Dickens, Dale, Spears, Briggs. Substitutes: Lockwood, Bostock, Grayshon, Haley.

Referee: M Thomason (Warrington).