Batley Boys threw the National Conference Division Three promotion race wide open thanks to a 29-22 derby victory over Dewsbury Celtic in front of a large crowd at Halifax Road last Wednesday night.
Victory saw the Boys close to within a point of third placed Celtic with a game in hand, which is at home to Hensingham this Saturday.
It was Celtic who made the brighter start and raced into a 10-0 lead after just 11 minutes.
Celtic capitalised on a Boys error and Matty Ginnelly scooped up the loose ball to send George Senior over for a try which he improved.
Celtic’s second try came when Danny Thomas offloaded the ball in a tackle and Nathan Waring’s long pass sent winger Leon Heeley over wide out.
It was then Celtic’s turn to cough up possession, with the Boys launching an attack which saw Adam Bingham feed Luke Sheridan and he in turn put Aaron James over for a try which Bingham improved.
Batley launched another attack on the back of a penalty and Celtic struggled to contain Charlie Sandall’s fierce drive.
He offloaded to Luke Sheridan to score and Bingham converted to edge the Boys ahead.
Josh Richter gathered a kick to grab a third Boys try in quick succession after Matt Sheridan had been held up over the line.
Bingham then tagged on a drop goal before the break to extend the Boys lead to 17-10.
Celtic hit back at the start of the second half when Thomas put Ethan Ferry through to score and Senior converted.
James collected a Luke Sheridan pass to grab his second try of the match as the Boys regain their supremacy.
Batley repelled a Celtic attack before countering and Matt Sheridan sent Gav Davis crashing over for a try.
Bingham added his fourth goal, striking a penalty between the posts from close to halfway.
Celtic replied with a late consolation try when Senior’s kick to the left allowed Will Copley to touch down and Senior added a fine conversion but it was the Boys who celebrated clinching a crucial victory at the final whistle.