Batley Bulldogs give London Broncos a Carnegie Challenge Cup fright

Batley Bulldogs produced a superb effort in Sunday’s Carnegie Challenge Cup fifth round tie but Super League London Broncos edged through 22-16.

With driving rain lashing down at Mount Pleasant many felt it was set for an upset but after early Batley pressure, London scored three tries in a nine-minute spell.

Jamie O’Callaghan pounced on a loose ball after a Craig Gower kick to touch down while pack men Matt Cook and Antonio Kaufusi then powered through the home defence for tries.

Shane Rodney added two conversions for a 16-0 lead after 19 minutes but Batley hit back with a swift brace to set Broncos nerves jangling.

Danny Maun raced over for a try after neat work in the 21st minute. Gareth Moore added the goal and he was on target again five minutes later to cut the deficit to four points as Ben Black sent Mark Applegarth over for a try.

There were plenty of handling errors in the tricky conditions while after the break the Broncos tried to break through but were met with superb Batley defence.

The visitors kept pressing and finally grabbed the crucial try nine minutes from time as Chad Randell darted over close to the line and Rodney converted.

Roared on by a crowd of 1,025 the Bulldogs pressed and a Black kick to the right corner evaded the Broncos defence and Ian Preece dived on the ball to touch down.

Moore pulled the conversion wide to leave the deficit at six while in the last minute last-ditch defence snuffed out a Bulldogs raid as the Broncos just held on.