Championship play-offs 2021: Batley Bulldogs and Halifax Panthers into semi-finals
Batley and Halifax both progressed to the semi-finals as the Betfred Championship play-offs got underway; watch both semi-finals live on Sky Sports on Saturday, October 2
Last Updated: 25/09/21 8:26pm
We round up Saturday's action as the Championship play-offs got under way, with Batley Bulldogs and Halifax Panthers taking a step closer to the Million Pound Game...
Batley Bulldogs 23-10 Bradford Bulls
A try from Elliot Hall against his day-job employers eight minutes from time helped Batley overcome Bradford to book their place in the Championship semi-finals.
Hall, who works for the Bulls as a media and marketing assistant and is set to move to Odsal next season, scrambled over in the left corner for a score which ended Bradford's hopes of a fightback.
Playing down the infamous slope at Fox's Biscuits Stadium in the first half, the Bulldogs stormed into a 16-0 lead at half-time and got their first try in the 16th minute through Ben Kaye.
Player of the match Tom Gilmore, who pulled the strings in the halves for Batley, crossed for their second, having already kicked an early penalty to put the hosts ahead. He was on hand to convert all three tries as well.
Former Super League champions Bradford mounted a fightback after the break, with Joe Brown and Jordan Lilley going over and Danny Brough adding a conversion to claw back some of the deficit.
Championship play-off semi-finals (both Sat, Oct 2)
- 3.15pm (UK time): Toulouse Olympique vs Batley Bulldogs (Stade Ernest-Wallon)
- 5.30pm: Featherstone Rovers vs Halifax Panthers (Millennium Stadium)
But winger Hall's try and a drop goal form Gilmore put the seal on the win for the Bulldogs as they set up a trip to Toulouse Olympique next week.
Halifax Panthers 24-20 Whitehaven
Halifax held off a late fightback from Whitehaven to triumph in the Saturday evening elimination play-off at The Shay Stadium.
Conor McGrath got the ball rolling for the Panthers with their first try of the match on six minutes and they continued that positive start when Matt Garside went over for the first of two tries four minutes later.
FULL TIME | Halifax Panthers 24 - 20 Whitehaven— Halifax Panthers 🐾 (@HalifaxPanthers) September 25, 2021
Enthralling contest here at The Shay as Panthers make the play off semi finals with a well earned victory. Second half fightback from the Cumbrians not enough as Fax take it!!#PanthersVsHaven #PanthersAreInTown #PlayoffPanthers pic.twitter.com/peQVvWQl2H
Whitehaven hit back through a converted try from Liam Cooper, but two tries in the space of four minutes just before half-time put the home side in command at the break.
First, James Woodburn-Hall finished and then Garside crossed for his second of the evening, with Liam Harris' two conversions putting Halifax 22-6 up at the break.
Haven, who sealed their play-off spot by coming from behind to beat Bradford in the final round of the regular season, were not done yet though and tries from Andrew Bulman and Ryan King inside the first 13 minutes of the second half hauled them back into the match.
Connor Robinson settled a few Panthers nerves with a penalty in the 63rd minute and although the Cumbrian visitors pulled themselves to within four points thanks to Bulman's late try there was no time to complete another comeback. Halifax now travel to Featherstone Rovers in the semi-finals.