Super sub Brown helps Batley maintain third

BRACES from Dominic Brambani and James Brown helped maintain Batley's third place spot in the Championship after John Kear's men thrashed Oldham 42-18.

Brown appeared from the substitutes bench early on and shone throughout on a hot day at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.

Oldham started off on the front foot before Batley wrestled the game back from the Greater Manchester side.

Batley assistant coach Mark Moxon admitted: “We spoke about starting well today – after the way we started last week against Dewsbury, which wasn’t the best.

“Having said that, we didn’t start as well as we would have liked today, obviously conceding that first try.

“I thought from there we really got back into the game and got into the grind which is what we spoke about and then finished the half really strongly”.

Batley went behind within the first seven minutes to a try from Kenny Hughes.

Luke Blake got the Bulldogs back into it halfway through the first period when he found a gap in the Oldham defence.

Brown then scored his first of the afternoon, getting on the end of a neat pass to crash over the whitewash giving Batley the lead.

The Bulldogs soon stretched their advantage thanks to a moment of brilliance from Wayne Reittie. He intercepted a high kick on his own 10 metre line, to sprint the full length of the pitch to touch down.

This was followed by Brown's second of the match after he managed to barge his way over the try line to make it 24-6 on the stroke of half-time.

Batley started the second period as they ended the first, with a try – Brambani scoring between the sticks after a great passing movement from the hosts.

Pat Walker converted to make his goal-kicking record five from five for the afternoon.

But Oldham managed to mount pressure on the Batley try line despite being 24 points down.

Sam Wood took advantage of his side’s territory to barge his way over to score just to the left sticks, leaving an easy kick, which Lewis Palfrey converted.

If there were any hopes of an Oldham comeback, they were dashed 10 minutes later when Greg Minikin managed to slot his way through the Oldham defence, to touch down just right of the uprights.

Brambani piled on the misery for the travelling side when he smashed his way through to score under the sticks.

But Oldham can take consolation from their final try of the game. It was a sublime try by Garry Middlehurst after he and Steve Roper combined to exchange the ball three times, including a little kick over the Batley defence.

Oldham head coach Scott Naylor admitted: “After 35 minutes, there was nothing in it really, I think just a bit of game management by us would have been better just before half-time.

“I think then it might have been a different game, but to let two really late tries in the first half had a massive effect on us.

“The first five minutes of the first half we just made too many mistakes and then let the first try in.”

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