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History making Batley Boys seal thrilling Challenge Cup success

Josh Whitehead tries to force his way through the RAF defence. Pictures: Paul Butterfield
Josh Whitehead tries to force his way through the RAF defence. Pictures: Paul Butterfield

Batley Boys created history last Saturday as they reached the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup third round with a thrilling 13-12 golden point extra time victory over the Royal Air Force at Halifax Road.

It was a case of deja vu as the Boys had defeated Underbank Rangers thanks to Adam Bingham’s golden point drop goal in the first round and the same player landed the winning goal to the delight of the large Batley Boys support last Saturday.

Both sides started strong in the opening stages with defences on top.

The Boys defended their own line well with good tackles coming from Gavin Davies, Josh O’Sullivan, Matthew Sheridan and Ryan Crossley along with Josh Whitehead and Aaron James.

Batley had reorganise following a head injury sustained by winger Josh Ritcher, who made a recovery but was unable to return. Lewis Hardy and Ryan Crossley filled in on the wing before half-time.

Batley’s best early chance came as Josh Scruton produced a wonderful pass to O’Sullivan but he couldn’t keep hold of the ball in the muddy conditions as the first half ended scoreless.

The introduction of Daniel Scales and Josh Knowles before the break set the platform for the second half as the pair helped the Boys roll down Staincliffe pitch, with support from Davies and O’Sullivan, along with Hardy and James .

Luke Sheridan and Adam Bingham started to pull the strings.

Bingham opened the scoring after pouncing on a Knowles grubber kick for a try which he converted.

Batley worked their way back down the slope soon after great work from the forwards along with Rob Bingham, Josh Whitehead and Sean Sheard.

Matthew Sheridan took play close to the line before Josh Knowles dived over from acting half-back to grab the second try and Bingham’s conversion put the Boys 12-0 ahead with 15 minutes remaining.

The RAF hit back and Batley were forced to defend 36 consecutive tackles on their own line as penalties and drop outs built pressure.

Ryan Crossley was sin binned for questioning a refereeing decision and from the following set, The RAF pulled a try back when Barker dived over and Bradley added the extras.

In a dramatic finale, The RAF launched a last minute attack, Roberts kicked through and won the race to dive on the ball, with Bradley adding the conversion to send the tie into extra time.

The RAF won the toss and chose kick off to Batley as they played towards the Halifax Road end.

As Batley looked to move downfield an error saw their first attack end and The RAF moved upfield but had a drop goal attempt charged down by Bingham, who dived at the kicker’s feet. RAF dropped the ball on the following set but as Batley attempted to drive play away from their own line, they also lost possession.

The Boys forced an error from the RAF and then looked to set up their own attack with forwards Gavin Davies, Sean Sheard, Aaron James and Dec Tomlinson driving them to within 30 metres of the line.

A final drive from Ryan Crossley helped Batley get 25 metres out as Adam Bingham dropped the goal to send the players, coaching staff and fans into celebrations.

Batley Boys man-of-the- match was Gavin Davies followed by Adam Bingham and Josh O’Sullivan

The club also paid tribute to all the volunteers who helped out on Saturday to ensure they were able to stage the game on their home ground.