Matt Diskin’s men met Danny Ward’s side in a thrilling contest in intense weather conditions. Batley stunned an experienced Broncos team in the first half, however it wasn’t meant to be as the fight back from the visitors proved too much for a still injury hit Batley group.
The hosts certainly gathered all their energy in the first half, placing constant pressure on the opponent’s line claiming two well earned goal line drop outs on the bounce. Sam Smeaton gained Batley the lead early on in the game after he capitalised on mountains of built up pressure, speeding his way over the line. Walker slotted over the conversion.
Despite what was an impressive start from the Bulldogs, London ran two hard paced tries down on their wings with Api Pewhairangi and Rhys Williams going across. Dixon converted both.
Patrick Walkers kicking proved vital once more as a stunning kick challenged the Broncos fullback seeing it bounce off of the posts to then slide through his palms into the hands of James Davey who touched down. Walker converted; seeing both teams head into the sheds even stevens.
HALF-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 12 – 12 London Broncos
The second-half didn’t get better for Batley as the Broncos stampeded their way through showing their full-time fitness. It wasn’t long before they re-opened their scoring as Matt Gee crashed his way through the Bulldogs defensive line unable to stop him. Dixon converted.
London’s scoring didn’t end there as they burst their way through for a further four more tries all coming from a rapid shipment of passes. Jay Pitts, Kieran Dixon, Tom Spencer and Rhys Williams barged over after taking swift advantage on the breaks made leaving the Batley defenders behind. Dixon converted three out of the four.
Lewis Galbraith grabbed the final say at a scorching Fox’s Biscuits Stadium, collecting the ball from right to left touching down in the far corner. Walker couldn’t convert.
The full-time score doesn’t quite tell the story of a valiant effort by the Bulldogs to hold off high flyers London Broncos.
FULL-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 16 – 38 London Broncos.
Batley Xlll – Dave Scott, Keenen Tomlinson, Sam Smeaton, Lewis Galbraith, Jason Crookes, Patch Walker, Tom Hemingway, Adam Gledhill, Alistair Leak, Tom Lilleycrop, Dane Manning, Brad Day and Joel Farrell.
Interchanges – James Harrison, James Brown, James Davey and Alex Bretherton.
London Xlll – Alex Walker, Kieran Dixon, Michael Channing, Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams, Api Pewhairangi, James Cunningham, Edward Battye, Jarrod Sammut, Ben Evans, Jay Pitts, Dan Hindmarsh-Takyi and Matthew Davis.
Interchanges – Mark Loane, Matthew Gee, Spencer Thomas and Matthew Davies.