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Page last updated at 16:44 GMT, Sunday, 18 July 2010 17:44 UK

Batley beat Widnes 25-24 to win the Northern Rail Cup

Batley (15) 25
Tries: Walton, Hesketh, A Brown 2 Goals: Moore 4
Drop goal: Moore

Widnes (12) 24
Tries: Davies, Thackeray, Flynn, C Gerrard Goals: Grady 4


Alex Brown
Batley Bulldogs winger Alex Brown is on loan from Huddersfield Giants

Alex Brown was Batley's hero with two late tries as they beat holders Widnes to win the Northern Rail Cup - their first major trophy since 1924.

Widnes came from 12-0 down to lead 24-15 with 12 minutes left, before on-loan winger Brown's dramatic double.

Brown's first try came when he cut inside from the left touchline, then he brilliantly leapt to take a Gareth Moore kick to touch down in the corner.

Widnes had taken control after tries from Paddy Flynn and Chris Gerrard.

Batley, who were in their first final since 1952, led after just four minutes at Bloomfield Road when Paul Handforth beat two men to put Jason Walton over.

Sean Hesketh added a second, with Moore converting both efforts to make it 12-0.

But Widnes levelled with two quickfire tries of their own, through Ben Davies and Anthony Thackerary - with Shane Grady scoring two goals.

Moore gave Batley a 15-12 half-time lead with a drop goal and penalty. But it looked as if that would not be enough as Widnes took control in the second half.

Flynn touched down after Bryon Smith's knock-on and then Gerrard jinked his way under the post 15 minutes from time, with Grady keeping up his perfect record.

But the West Yorkshire side had fight left in them and it was 22-year-old winger Brown, who is at Batley on dual registration from Huddersfield, that etched his name into Bulldogs folklore.

His first try came with 12 minutes left, with Moore converting, and after an intensive spell of Batley pressure, Widnes' defence eventually caved and Brown won the game for the Bulldogs, with Moore missing the chance to extend the winning margin to three.

As cup winners, the Bulldogs can now apply for a Super League licence, although coach Karl Harrison says they have no desire to do so.


Batley coach Karl Harrison:
"It is an outstanding achievement for me personally - but I am pleased for everyone involved at Batley.

"And for this group of local players which we have recruited in a short space of time, I can't praise them enough.

"Let's just enjoy the moment - Batley Bulldogs have won the Northern Rail Cup final 2010.

"We'll be realistic about it, we have no ambitions to go into Super League. We are happy to stay in the Championship and that is what Batley is about."

Widnes coach Paul Cullen:
"We were one mistake away from winning but, having said that, I honestly don't think we deserved it.

"We worked very hard to get ourselves back in it and put ourselves in a position to win.

"But then to turn the ball over so weakly and cheaply was outrageous, simply not good enough.

"The Widnes players have lost that final. They have thrown it away."


Batley: Campbell, A Brown, Toohey, Maun, L Greenwood, Handforth, Moore, Smith, Lythe, Hesketh, Walton, J Gallagher, Lindsay.
Replacements: Tootill for Smith (17), Govin for Lythe (26), Martin for Hesketh (17), T Gallagher for Lindsay (33).

Widnes: Flynn, Ainscough, Gardner, Grady, Gaskell, Thackeray, Coyle, G Haggerty, Netherton, Gannon, Doran, Allen, C Gerrard.
Replacements: Davies for G Haggerty (11), M Smith for Netherton (21), Pickersgill for Gannon (21), Kavanagh for C Gerrard (27).

Attendance: 8,138

Referee: Robert Hicks (Oldham).



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