Dewsbury Rams showed real heart despite slipping to a 30-12 defeat in Monday’s Heavy Woollen derby against Batley in the Kingstone Press Championship.
The Rams started superbly and raced into a 12-0 lead after just 10 minutes but were then thwarted by Batley’s superb defence for the remainder of the game as they were prevented from scoring any further points.
Batley produced some neat attacking play to turn the deficit into a 16-12 half-time lead, which could have been more had former Ram Ayden Faal not dropped a pass with the line at his mercy.
Dewsbury piled on pressure in the second half but the Bulldogs defence was up to the task and a trademark try from another former Ram George Flanagan in the final minute denied the home side a bonus point.
Dewsbury began well and took a fifth minute lead when new signing Bobbie Goulding produced a superb long pass to send Karl Pryce in for a try wide out and Dale Morton added a superb touchline goal.
Aaron Brown then broke through and found Gregg Scott in support to send him over near the posts, with Morton again converting.
Batley found a way back into the game as Tom Hemingway gathered a stray pass and the Rams defence opened up to allow the scrum-half to race over for a converted try.
John Davies produced a terrific cut out pass to send Johnny Campbell in at the left corner, seven years to the day since he played for Thornhill Trojans away to Catalan Dragons in the Challenge Cup.
Ben Black’s neat short pass sent Faal over wide on the left as Batley scored three tries in eight minutes and Hemingway’s second goal put the Bulldogs 16-12 ahead.
Davies broke to split the Rams defence again but his pass to Faal went to ground and a chance went begging.
Batley withstood a spell of pressure before Jason Walton was on the end of a lovely passing move to score wide out and Hemingway converted.
Dewsbury looked to have secured a bonus point until Flanagan nipped over from acting half-back. Hemingway converted and then landed a penalty goal with the last kick of the game after the Rams kick off went into touch.