Match Report by Luke Winner.
Batley made it 2 from 2 over the Easter period, defeating Sheffield Eagles at the Olympic Legacy Park Stadium, 14 – 28 in a physical Betfred Championship battle.
Mark Astons’ side began the game with fury, with Costello shipping out the ball to Joshua Toole who charged his way through the Bulldogs defence. Thomas couldn’t make the conversion.
Despite the Eagles early lead, Crookes and Farrell were niggling away at their opponents determined to regain possession of the ball. All Batley’s effort came in vain again as the hosts forced two goal line drop outs in a row, with Oliver Davies proving the pressure was too much, scoring from close range. Thomas converted.
Sheffield were all over the place, making it extremely hard for the Bulldogs to put a clamp down on the game. A moment of spirit saw fullback Dave Scott, ram through the Eagles defenders putting them on the score sheet. Walker couldn’t convert.
HALF-TIME: Sheffield Eagles 10 – 4 Batley Bulldogs.
The visitors came out firing on all cylinders, looking to build on Dave Scott’s previous try. Eagles’ Bentley knocked the ball forward early on within their own half near the start, placing the Bulldogs in some great field position. Patch Walker swift advantage, grubbing through the defence allowing Dane Manning to follow through and score. Walker this time converted; making the scores level for the first time.
Almost immediately after Dane Manning going over, Patch Walker sliced through the Eagles defence with a quick show and go from a scrum. Walker added the extras, placing Batley in the lead. Sheffield 10 – 16 Batley.
It was almost a different side showing from the Bulldogs’ first half performance, as they were now clamping down hard on their hosts. Wayne Reittie soon added more to the Bulldogs tally diving over the line after creating an overlap. Walker converted.
However, Sheffield weren’t going to go down to the Bulldogs without a fight. An almost identical try from Walkers earlier, expect this time it was the hosts Ryan Millar crossing the line. Thomas failed to convert.
Batley eventually finished the game off, with a fantastic offload coming from Chandler to send Tom Hemingway over just next to the posts. Walker added the extras.
FULL-TIME: Sheffield Eagles 14 – 28 Batley Bulldogs.
Batley XIII – Scott, Reittie, Cowling, Galbraith, Crookes; Walker, Brambani, Ward, Davey, Holland, Manning, Farrell and Chandler.
Interchange – Hemingway, Bretherton, Brown and Tomlinson.
Sheffield XIII – Costello, Lo, Bentley, Toole, Millar, Brown, Thomas, James, Burns, Pick, Ashworth, Davies and Fozard.
Interchange – Igbinedion, Blackmore, Garcia and Magrin.