Celtic Crusaders went down 30-22 at Mount Pleasant on Sunday to a battling Batley Bulldogs who are now virtually safe from relegation.
The Crusaders remain in third place in National League One knowing that they must now beat Sheffield Eagles, currently in fourth, next Saturday at the Brewery Field if they are to keep up the pressure on top two Salford and Halifax.
The ground had almost as much slope as your average Rhondda Valley street and the Crusaders chose to run downhill in the first half, hoping to use the track to their advantage and to build up a quick lead.
For a while it worked as the Crusaders came storming out of the dressing rooms to score two early tries.
Crusaders took the lead on six minutes when Damien Quinn set up Aled James, who kept up his try per game record for 2008, as he went over in the corner. Mark Lennon converted.
It was soon 12-0. Craig Potter lost the ball in the tackle on his own 40 metre line and Luke Dyer took full advantage picking up the ball and outsprinted his markers to the line. Lennon again had no problems with the extras.
Batley, who apparently often play better when running uphill, hit back five minutes later when following a good set of six Aaron Murphy set up Jermaine McGilvary to score. Kevin King Like