The slope at Mount Pleasant, the Fox’s Biscuit Stadium, was the venue as seventh placed Batley Bulldogs took on a Toronto Wolfpack who had slipped back to second after Toulouse’s comprehensive win over Barrow Raiders yesterday afternoon. The Bulldogs made changes with Smeaton, Leak, Rowe, Harrison, and Day into Matt Diskin’s starting line up. Gareth O’Brien was back in the Toronto line up for Laulu-Togagae, with new signing Chase Stanley making his debut, McCrone and Sims were back in the starting in starting line up. All indications were for a Toronto win but a good home crowd were hopeful that the Bulldogs could halt the marauding Wolfpack. Batley won the toss and elected to kick down hill in the first half and they didn’t lack aggression in the early encounters. On seven minutes Liam Kay went close and two tackles later Josh McCrone found the smallest of gaps down the short side and stretched past James Harrison to score on the line. Ryan Brierley added the extra two for a six-nil lead. Batley hit back on eleven when Harrison picked up a Pat Walker low grubber and crossed the line in one movement to ground. Walker added the extras to tie up the scores. There was little difference between the two sides for the remainder of the half until Wayne Reittie took an intercept with a minute left on the clock to race ninety metres, outpacing the Toronto chasers, to dive over the line to score, injuring himself in the act of scoring. Walker kicked the goal as the half time hooter sounded and Reittie was helped from the field. Batley's defence early in the second half nullified the slope but on fifty minutes Gareth O’Brien took a neat pass to win a one-on-one battle and go in wide left. Brierley was unable to add the conversion and his side still trailed by two. Three minutes later and O’Brien was in again to take the lead for his side, this time taking a Brierley pass and fending off the tackler to go over. Brierley was again unable to add the conversion. O’Brien got a twelve  minute hat-trick when he pushed off three attempted tackles to go over the line down the right wing. Brierley pushed this attempt between the uprights for 20-12. On sixty-nine Jack Bussey sealed the win when he took a McCrone tackle on the last play to score behind the uprights. Brierley added the goal for a fourteen point lead with just ten minutes left on the clock. Toronto finished the game with twelve after Sam Hopkins was sin-binned in the dying seconds and Brad Day scored a consolation try off a Dominic Brambani pass to narrow the margin. Walker added the goal for a final score of 18-26. It was a tremendous first half effort from the Bulldogs and they deserved their lead at the interval but the Wolfpack bided their time and with the slope in their favour against a tiring Batley side they took their chances and secured the victory which takes them back to the top of the Championship table. The injury to Reittie, in taking the lead, was a blow for the home side who just didn’t have the juice to cope with the second half onslaught from the professional outfit. Bulldogs: Scott, Reittie (T), Smeaton, Galbraith, Crookes, Walker (3G), Brambani, Holland, Leak, Rowe, Harrison (T), Day (T), Farrell.  Subs: Davey, Brown, Manning, Ward. Wolfpack: O’Brien (3T), Pownall, Stanley, Worthington, Kay, McCrone (T), Brierley (3G), Emmitt, Ackers, Sims, Bussey (T), Whiting, Buchanan.  Subs: Maitua, Hopkins (SB on 79), Sidlow, Wallace. Referee: Tom Grant. Half-Time: 12-6. Full-Time: 12-26. Attendance: .

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