JOHN Kear was magnanimous in defeat at Batley, as a battling Bulls side came up short in their Championship elimination play-off.

The hosts won 23-10 to end Bradford's season, but this was a much better performance from Kear's men, compared to last weekend's horror show against Whitehaven.

The Bulls head coach said: "You couldn't fault the effort from our lads.

"We've just come up against a team that were slightly better than us, and in those games of inches, that's what matters.

"Congratulations to Batley, and we'll just have to dust ourselves down and come back with a bit more resolve next season."

The infamous Mount Pleasant slope was a factor, with Bulls 16-0 down at the break playing up the hill, before dominating the second half going the other way.

Kear said: "If we'd only been eight or 10 down at the break, I'd have been happy enough with that.

"But that extra try from them just before half-time took the wind out of our sails and deflated us slightly.

"Credit to our lads, they played themselves back into it, and but for the game of inches (George Flanagan just being held up over the line for Bulls and Elliot Hall squeezing over in the corner late on for Batley), it could have been us going through instead."

Bradford did not lot do a lot wrong, but found it hard to break down a superb Batley defence, and Kear said: "It's in the DNA of Batley.

"They work really hard, they're tough and they don't go away.

"Their resilience levels are fantastic. Anybody who plays for this club has to be a resilient individual, and they've demonstrated that in bucketloads in this game."