IN-FORM Workington Town ended the Bulldogs' recent winning streak with a 22-16 victory at Derwent Park, as Batley picked up a bonus point.
Featherstone had felt the full force of the intense, committed approach from Town two weeks ago and the Derwent Park faithful witnessed another display from the same template.
The opening 15 minutes had been tight with defences on top as the tackling from both sides was hard, effective and constant.
The breakthrough went to Town on 17 minutes when Peter Lupton, who was a key player throughout, saw enough of a gap to squirm through from close in. Carl Forber tacked on the extras.
That sparked a really strong spell for Town as Batley were kept pinned back and it was no real surprise when the Cumbrians scored again on 25 minutes.
Jack Murphy had been held on the line and when Town built again it was Karl Olstrum who finished off cleverly from short range. Forber added the conversion.
The momentum seemed to be with Town but Batley finished the half strongly and turned round level.
On 31 minutes Scott Leatherbarrow’s kick on the last tackle struck a Workington post and in the scramble that followed Sam Scott was credited with the touchdown. Leatherbarrow improved the try.
Then, right on the hooter, Batley levelled. Miles Greenwood slipped through the Workington defence to dot down by the post for Leatherbarrow to convert.
Workington made a blistering start to the second half and forced four successive sets of six in the final third of the field.
Brett Phillips was held-up over the line but when Town continued to shove the ball to the right Forber’s little kick struck the hand of a Batley player. It was deflected behind the tryline and Lupton reacted quickest to dive in for the touchdown. Again Forber converted.
Town scored their best try on 59 minutes. They moved the ball smartly along the line from right to left where Jason Mossop surged for the line and from his dive snaked out a long arm to get the touchdown.
The home defence had to withstand some strong pressure in the closing stages but they were equal to it. They were also helped by unforced errors from Batley which brought three promising attacks to a premature end.
However, after having a try disallowed for a forward pass on last tackle, they did get over after 78 minutes. Ayden Faal made a long run and after he was stopped Ben Black slipped over for the try. Leatherbarrow’s hurried conversion was flagged wide.
They were desperate to get one more penetrative attack but Town stood firm and were in possession in the Bulldogs’ half at the final hooter.