Batley Ladies fightback to seal fine win

Katie Hepworth was player-of-the-match as Batley Bullets recorded a fourth straight league win at Rochdale.
Katie Hepworth was player-of-the-match as Batley Bullets recorded a fourth straight league win at Rochdale.

Batley Bullets Ladies were made to work hard before registering a fourth straight win in the Women’s Amateur RL Association.

Batley found themselves 8-0 down at half-time in their away game at Rochdale but battled back superbly after the break to seal an 18-8 victory and register a fourth straight league victory of the campaign.

Batley had produced some excellent rugby the previous week to run out 56-0 winners at Dewsbury Moor but they were made to work much harder on their trip across the Pennines.

Rochdale opened the scoring after 26 minutes when they crossed for an unconverted try.

The Bullets battled hard but could not break the Rochdale defence and the home side increased their lead on the stroke of half-time with a second try, which put them 8-0 ahead.

Batley made good ground at the start of the second half and set up the position to enable Kirsty Hodgson to burst through and score with Katie Hepworth’s conversion reducing the deficit to just two points.

The Bullets continued to pile on the pressure and an excellent passing move was rounded off when Michaela Hirst squeezed over to put Batley ahead for the first time. Hepworth was again on target with the conversion.

Rochdale responded well and piled on the pressure but Batley withstood the onslaught with some excellent defence, with impressive duo Stacie Swinson and Sarah Fletcher to the fore.

Having weathered the Rochdale storm, Batley replied to clinch victory.

They moved the ball downfield and Hirst was on hand to carry two home defenders over the line as she scored her second try. Fletcher converted as the Bullets extended their 100 per cent record.

Katie Hepworth took player of the match, while top tackler Swinson led the way with 34, just one ahead of Fletcher, who also produced a terrific effort to keep Rochdale at bay for long periods.

Batley Ladies will look to extend their impressive winning run to five matches when they welcome Huddersfield to Halifax Road, Staincliffe, this Sunday (kick off 2pm).