Barbarians try to tame Birstall at the home of the Bulldogs

​Whitley Bay Barbarians faced their toughest test of the season with a trip down to Batley Bulldogs to play Birstall Victoria.

Playing on the hallowed turf of the Mount - the second oldest rugby league ground in the country – the Babas won the toss and elected to receive.

The teams traded hard hits over the first two sets before Birstall broke the deadlock with a try in the corner.

Whitley Bay showed their resolve and responded immediately when Bryce Dixon showed how difficult he is to stop with a step and a try.

Stout defence at the restart gave the Babas a platform from just inside their own half. At the third play Vegas Liddell made one of his trademark drives to score in the corner.

The teams traded tries with Bryce Dixon crossing the line for his second try.

With the slope in their favour in the second half, the Barbarians expected much, but Birstall had other ideas with their experience showing.

They began to breakdown the Babas’ defence and three unanswered tries left the team reeling.

But the young team did not let their heads go down and responded by shoring up the defence and putting some strong attacks together.

Their resolve was rewarded when Matthew Dixon capped off a fine game to somehow ground the ball past three defenders.

In the dying minutes Birstall breached a tiring Whitley Bay defence to make the final score 32-16.

A tremendous performance where everyone gave their best with effort and commitment second to none.