Battling Boys earn draw with leaders

Gavin Davis is halted by the Illingworth defence during Saturday's Pennine League Championship One clash.

Gavin Davis is halted by the Illingworth defence during Saturday's Pennine League Championship One clash.

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Batley Boys produced a terrific display to earn a deserved 18-18 draw against Pennine League Championship One leaders Illingworth.

A depleted Batley side were beaten when the sides met earlier in the season but they have turned the corner and followed up three straight victories with a draw, which leaves them sixth in the table.

Batley’s defence was on form, preventing a strong Illingworth side from scoring, until conceding a silly penalty.

Illingworth knew this wasn’t going to be an easy match amd took the kick to edge ahead after 12 minutes.

Batley showed their frustrationbut conceded another penalty and this time Illingworth took the tap and scored to stretch their lead to 6-0 after 18 minutes.

Batley hit back to equalise with a Richard Moody converted try five minutes later.

Batley were reduced to 12 men following a sin-binning for back chat and Illingworth took advantage to score again and stretch their half-time lead to 14-6.

Illingworth also began the second half strongly and scored again to open up a 12-point lead.

Batley refused to give in and and, following a quickly taken penalty, the ball was moved quickly out wide for Aaron James to score in the corner.

Then the Boys continued to pile on the pressure and were rewarded for their hard work when Richard Moody crossed over for his second try of the match.

Batley were again reduced to 12 men after conceding another silly penalty but they were determined to not let Illingworth take advantage and prevented the visitors from adding to their score.

Illingworth conceded a penalty and Adam Bingham held his nerve to land a brilliant goal and ensure Batley earned a deserved share of the spoils.

Boys man of the match went to Richard Moody, closely followed by Gav Davis and Aaron James.

The Boys face a tough challenge on Saturday when they visit Championship high fliers Chequerfield in the Pennine President’s Cup.

Birkenshaw, who defeated Ossett 22-10 in Championship One last week, host St Joseph’s in the cup.