Match Report by Luke Winner

Batley Bulldogs welcomed Barrow Raiders in the opening fixture of the Betfred Championship season, the afternoon seeing the hosts fall short in a tough battle, 18 – 22.

Diskin’s men were the first team to grab themselves on the score sheet as Sam Wood barged over from close range after constant pressure proved too much in the end. David Scott converted.

Barrow were soon to hit back though with Jake Spedding taking an interception to run the full length and score. Jamie Dallimore converted.

Alistair Leak added more points onto the tally seeing the Bulldogs make use of their extra man after Jamie Dallimore was sent to the bin. David Scott added the extras.

It eventually became tit for tat as Barrow responded twice, with a Bulldogs try in the middle. Johnathon Smith and Jake Spedding stampeded across for the visitors as well as Dominic Brambani for the hosts diving over from some quick hand. Barrows’ Jamie Dalimoore converted one out of the two and Batley’s David Scott added their extras.

HALF-TIME was called and Diskin’s side held a narrow lead at 18 – 14.

In the second half, the Bulldogs were unable to get on the score sheet again. Ward, Dickinson and Brown went close but were unable to break a formidable opponent defence.

Lewis Charnock brought the Raiders back into the game after multiple sets took their toll on what was becoming a tired Batley line. Jamie Dallimore converted.

Paul Crarey’s side soon secured the win shortly after their previous try with a penalty goal as just a few minutes remained.

FULL-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 18 – 22 Barrow Raiders.

Overall, it was a physical and testing season opener as Matt Diskin’s team will now focus on Featherstone Rovers away at the LD Nutrition Stadium on 10th February.

Batley Xlll: David Scott, Wayne Reittie, Sam Wood, Lewis Galbraith, Johnny Campbell, Louis Jouffret, Dominic Brambani, Adam Gledhill, Alistair Leak, Toby Everet, Dane Manning, Jack Downs and Tyler Dickinson.

Interchange: James brown, Jo Taira, Michael Ward and Keenen Tomlinson.

Barrow Xlll: Theerapol Ritson, Stargroth Amean, Deon Cross, Jake Spedding, Thomas Loxham, Jamie Dallimore, Lewis Charnock, Thomas Walker, Wartovo Puara, Joshua Johnson, Johnathon Smith, Jordan Walne and Martin Aspinwall.

Interchange: Ryan Johnston, Jarrad Stack, Willie Minoga and Ryan Duffy

Full Report to follow