Doncaster RLFC 14 Batley Bulldogs 16: Late rally denies Dons first win of season

Dons' Matt Carbutt  is halted against Batley. Photo: Dean Atkins
Dons' Matt Carbutt is halted against Batley. Photo: Dean Atkins

Two late tries sentenced Doncaster to a 16-14 Championship defeat against Batley Bulldogs at the Keepmoat Stadium.

The Dons looked to be heading for their first win in seven games this season when leading 14-6 with just ten minutes remaining.

But indiscipline and handling errors were punished by the visitors who had never been in front before half-back Cain Southernwood converted his own 77th minute try.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Dons’ fans, however, in what was a much-improved performance.

They dominated the first half and Batley were fortunate to be only eight points adrift at the break.

The Dons took the lead in the 20th minute when on-loan second-rower Jansin Turget celebrated his home debut with a try.

The Hull FC forward found himself well placed to capitalise when Batley full-back Johnny Campbell failed to deal with an awkwardly bouncing ball from Cooke’s kick in his own 20.

Full-back Dave Scott added the extras and also kicked a 24th minute penalty after Batley infringed on their own line under severe pressure from the Dons.

The home side went close to a second try on 28 minutes when scrum-half Josh Kittrick was held on his back over the line from Kyle Kesik’s pass

The Dons elected to run a kickable penalty on the half-hour and the gamble paid off as Mitch Clark forced his way over from close range. Scott’s conversion made it 14-0.

Batley finally opened their account on 36 minutes, James Brown bursting over from close range near enough for Southernwood to convert.

Batley enjoyed the better of the territorial exchanges after the break, though both Mike Emmett and Sam Doherty went close for the Dons - who defended well throughout – in the third quarter.

Doncaster: Scott, Doherty, Welham, Gilbey, Naughton, Cooke, Kittrick, Carbutt, Kesik, Robinson, Turget, Snitch, Emmett. Subs: Spiers. Clark, Walton,Tyson-Wilson.

Batley: Campbell, Reittie, Bretherton, Squires, Ainscough, Southernwood, Nicholson, Hirst, Blake, Rowe, Scott, Mitchell, Chandler. Subs: Gledhill, Lillycrop, Brown, Fozard.

Referee: Tom Crashley.

Att: 1,277