Following a meeting of Betfred Championship and League One clubs last month the RFL Board has confirmed the structure for the 2024 season – including a new, expanded format for the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup.
The Betfred Championship will continue as a 14-team competition, with the top six teams qualifying for a Play-Off series culminating in a Grand Final to determine the champions. This will be played at the home ground of the team ranked highest during the regular season.
Betfred League One will be a nine-club competition, with each side playing 20 matches – 10 at home, and 10 away. This will involve four loop fixtures for each team, to be determined by seedings based on 2023 finishing positions (a contingency model has also been devised for an eight-team competition, which would see each team play the other three times in a 21-round programme). The League One Grand Final will be played on October 6 at home ground of the team ranked highest during the regular season.
Importantly, clubs in both leagues have been invited to join a forum to consider the best structure below Super League for 2025 and beyond, the intention being to announce decisions before the start of the 2024 league competitions to provide clarity around promotion and relegation between any divisions.
And, in response to representations from League One clubs that they would benefit from being able to offer more fixtures to their supporters, a new structure has been devised for the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup – the competition introduced in 2019 to provide a second and more realistic chance for clubs outside the Betfred Super League to reach Challenge Cup Finals Day at Wembley Stadium.
In 2024 the 13 England-based Championship clubs will join eight League One clubs (Cornwall having graciously opted not to take part) in seven groups of three. Groups will be seeded and regionalised, with League One clubs awarded home advantage in any fixtures against Championship opposition. The top team in each group will qualify for Quarter Finals, joined by the best-performing second-placed team – the latter to be determined by competition points initially and then, if necessary, by points difference.
Further details will be provided when the full fixtures list for Betfred Championship, League One and the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup is published on Sunday December 3.
The first round of group fixtures in the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup will be played on the weekend of January 27-28. The remaining two rounds of group fixtures will be played in February, alternating with the early rounds of the Betfred Challenge Cup. Quarter-finals will be played on March 3, semi-finals on May 12 and the final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday June 8.
Halifax Panthers became the fourth different winners of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup from as many finals when they defeated Batley Bulldogs 12-10 at Wembley last August. The Panthers followed Leigh Centurions (as they were then known) in 2022, who beat Featherstone Rovers 30-16 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium; Rovers themselves in 2021 when they defeated York Knights 41-34 at Wembley Stadium and Sheffield Eagles, who were the inaugural winners in 2019 when they beat Widnes Vikings 36-18 at Wembley.
So the first IMG gradings are published and some people were waiting for them in anticipation so now they know and can sit on their laurels or seek to improve. Personally there is not much there that surprises me as firstly we are roughly where i expected us to be but possibly with a slightly higher mark than anticipated and secondly the only Championship Club above SL Clubs is Toulouse so no great shocks there as that is exactly what i expected.
So the only surprise for me was London being so low and I am sure they will be looking to improve to avoid any negative consequences which certainly could be severe for them.
So from our Clubs point of view we have requested as much detail as possible from the Rfl and we will then analyse if we can improve and if so by how much we can improve and at that stage we will advise supporters who are interested of our detailed views. We voted against these proposals so we are entitled to complain if we so wish but Clubs who voted in favour in my view cannot complain but i bet next year when it impacts some do!
The Club’s priorities however are to sort out our finances going forward, ensure we have a competitive team next season and try to improve certain facilities at the Club to make us sustainable for the future. We would prefer to be high up in a Championship table on the field rather than a Grading table off it as that is why we are here .We love the sport of Rugby League at Batley Bulldogs.
By the way just to confirm now even if we are lucky enough to finish top of the Championship next year and win a Grand Final we won’t be eligible for SL but i think most supporters know that already. We will nevertheless not let that sad fact deter us in any way from a goal of finishing as high up in the Champi
It’s a West Yorkshire Derby in the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final as The Bulldogs face Halifax Panthers at Wembley Stadium on 12 August.
Our ticket allocation runs from block 116 to 120 in the East End with prices dependent on seating and are valid for the full day.
Adults £30 £40 £50
Concessions (Over 65 and Students) £20 £30 £40
Under 16s £15 £20 £30
Please be aware NO UNDER 2s are allowed in the stadium. We do not have any category 5 tickets for sale.
Tickets are on sale from The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium at the following times.
Weekday Mornings from Wednesday 26 July to Thursday 10 August
10am to Midday
Thursday 27 July, Tuesday 1 August, Weds 2 August, Thursday 3 August
6pm to 7.30pm
Saturday 29 July 10am to Midday
Additional times may become available.
Travel is being arranged by a number of supporter groups. Please keep an eye on our social channels for updates.
Join us for another outstanding live music event on June 10 as the brilliant Meatloaf Tributes MEATLOUD visit The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium
Family Friendly event, everyone welcome!
Bars open 4pm. DJ and Entertainment from 5pm.
Advance Price Tickets £5 online at bulldogs.mysportstickets.co.uk
“Where we need to be” says Linners. Head Coach Craig Lingard talks 2023.
Josh Wodds settling well and enjoying life at The Bulldogs
Kieran Buchanan looking forward to 2023 after his time with Scotland at the RL World Cup
An exciting local business will sponsor this year’s Boxing Day Spectacular between The Bulldogs and old foe Dewsbury Rams.
Spinners Fisheries is a fantastic, family run Fish and Chip Restaurant and Take Away, serving the finest fresh food, operating from the former Spinners Arms public house on Wakefield Road, Dewsbury. The restaurant is fully licensed and offers a Gluten free option.
Owners Sofia and Simon Render are delighted to be sponsoring the Boxing Day Heavy Woollen Derby.
“Rugby League plays a huge part in our local community, and as a community business we’re thrilled to be supporting this historic local Derby Fixture between two of the most iconic clubs in the game. It’s brilliant to have the players, coaches and mascots visit our restaurant this evening and we can’t wait for our trip to The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium on December 26.”
The business will also feature on the new 2023 Warm Up shirts from Ravensport.
Bulldogs Commercial Manager Danny Maun said “This is a perfect example of another innovative and successful local business supporting Rugby League in our area. We’re excited to have Spinners Fisheries as Sponsor for our Boxing day fixture and as part of the team at Batley Bulldogs. We’re really looking forward to working together”
A fantastic performance from Craig Lingard’s men in the Betfred Championship Grand Final saw them fall to a 44-12 loss to the powerful Leigh Centurions side.
The Bulldogs season comes to a close with the Batley side now ranked as officially the second placed side in the division.
A season, a story, and a team to be proud of!
Craig Lingard’s incredible side smashed their way into the final four of The Betfred Championship with a fantastic away win at Barrow Raiders
The Bulldogs are now the third highest place side remaining in the competition and face a daunting task away at Featherstone Rovers this coming Sunday, with a place in the Million Pound game at stake. The Bulldogs are the only side to win at The Millenium Stadium this season and have taken 3 out of 4 available points from Rovers with a draw at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.
Raiders v Bulldogs Match Highlights to follow.
BATLEY Bulldogs are celebrating the outstanding work of the sport’s official charities Rugby League Cares and the RL Benevolent Fund with a series of exciting activities at next Monday’s televised home fixture against Leigh Centurions.
RL Cares and the RL Benevolent Fund support thousands of people of all ages across the Rugby League family every year and the Bulldogs are proud to be involved in the celebrations of two worthy causes.
The charities were incredibly supportive to Batley’s players and staff following the tragic death of Archie Bruce in 2019 and have been there for Archie’s family ever since.
On Monday 16th May, fans will get the opportunity to find out more about the work of RL Cares and the RL Benevolent Fund when Leigh visit the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium for the eagerly-anticipated Betfred Championship fixture, which is being screened on Premier Sports.
The charities’ activities will focus around a specially-branded double decker bus featuring an interactive heritage display on the upper deck and a pop-up barber shop on the lower deck manned by former Batley player Tom Hemingway.
Tom now runs his own successful barber shop business, the Lions Den at Birstall, after retraining with support from RL Cares and will be offering free haircuts to fans before the game.
Batley-born Francis Stephenson, the Transition Manager at RL Cares, current England women’s player Amy Hardcastle, who now works with RL Cares delivering their acclaimed health programme, and ex-Bradford and New Zealand star Robbie Hunter-Paul will also be on the bus to share expert advice on how fans can best manage their mental fitness.
Visitors to the bus will also have the opportunity to watch a fantastic new video presented by RFL Chair Clare Balding detailing the work of the two charities and how they are making a positive impact to the lives of people young and old across Rugby League communities.
Face painters will be on hand to give younger fans an exciting new look and stilt walkers will provide entertainment ahead of kick-off at 7.45pm.
Batley chairman Kevin Nicholas said: “We are delighted to help showcase the work of two charities which do so much good across the sport and I am sure our fans and the visiting Leigh supporters will really enjoy the activities we have planned.
“The scale of the work that RL Cares and the RL Benevolent Fund do will surprise many people and our televised fixtures is the perfect opportunity to celebrate that work.”
RL Cares and the RL Benevolent Fund are independent charities that rely on fundraising, grants and donations to keep enhancing people’s lives. To support the work of RL Cares visit www.justgiving.com/rugbyleaguecares; to support the work of the RL Benevolent Fund visit www.justgiving.com/rfluk
For more information about the sport’s two charities, please visit www.rugbyleague cares.org
Long time club sponsors Bede Financial Group and Yorkshire Raw Feeds, brothers John and James McVeigh, have joined together to give us a brand new Battler The Bulldog.
After many years service the old Battler is worn, damaged, and badly in need of a rest and a younger pup is perfect for matchdays and local appearances. He’ll be making his match debut on Good Friday against Dewsbury Rams, you may see him in the community before then with the Batley Sporting Foundation.
Once again a huge thank you to Bede Financial Group and Yorkshire Raw Feeds, we can’t wait for you to meet our new man!
BULLDOGS 30 – 18 HALIFAX PANTHERS
A winning start for Craig Lingard’s men after a stunning second half performance against an excellent Halifax Panthers side.
Header image: Neville Wright
Price Freeze and extra games on 2022 Season Cards
The Bulldogs 2022 Season Tickets are now available online at bulldogs.mysportstickets.co.uk/
Prices remain the same as 2021 with extra value added as Season Ticket Holders will have 2 extra games in comparison to the 2021 campaign. Adult passes are priced at £185, Concessions £135, with Junior Season Tickets once again going FREE thanks to the fantastic Sponsorship from Frankie’s Burgers.
Craig Lingards’s men open the new season with a home fixture against highly fancied Halifax Panthers on Sunday January 30th.
Season tickets are valid for all home Betfred Championship fixtures.
The Bulldogs’ 2021 campaign came to an end in France on Saturday afternoon as Craig Lingard’s men fell to a 51-12 defeat at the hands of Full Time Toulouse Olympique.
After leaving training at 8.30pm on Firday evening, with some players travelling back across the penines, the squad met again at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium for 6.15 on Saturday morning. A coach trip to Humberside airport and charter flight to Toulouse saw the group arrive at the Stade Ernest Wallon for midday UK time, with a 3.15 kick-off to come.
The visitors made a solid start to the game, resting Olympique close to their line but it was the hosts who broke away to open the scoring with 2 quickfire tries. Dane Manning then forced his way over after enterprising play from the Bulldogs, to marrow the deficit. Toulouse added a 3rd score before Greg Johnson again brought the scores closer with a finish in the corner after more excellent play from The ‘Dogs. Half time saw The Bulldogs trailing by just 4 points at 16-12 after a fantastic effort.
The second 40 saw the overwhelming favourites take control of the game, and run out 51-12 victors to cement their spot in the Betfred Championship Grand Final
Craig Lingard and his men can hold their heads high and be very proud of an outstanding season. Away wins at Newcastle, Widnes, and York City Knights were amongst the highlights as the side played some of the best Rugby League in the competition.
They can now take a well earned rest before preparation for 2022 starts again in just a few weeks time.
Video Courtesy of Joe Miller.
Bulldogs Head Coach Craig Lingard has been named Betfred Championship Coach of the Year at this evenings RFL Awards event.
The Bulldogs finished fourth in the regular season table, picking up 13 wins from the 21 fixtures, losing just twice away from the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium, picking up incredible wins at Widnes, York and Newcastle along the way. In particular the difficult early tie at Newcastle when after issues with the team bus, the group arrived at the stadium just 15 minutes before the scheduled Kick-Off time.
Last Saturday another fantastic team performance saw the side progress to the Play-Off Semi Final with a pulsating win over Bradford Bulls, live on Sky Sports.
Bulldogs Half Back Tom Gilmore was also in line for the Player of The Year award, pipped at the post by Featherstone’s Craig Hall. Tom has had an outstanding season for the club, has played a huge part in the success on the field and can be very proud of his nomination.
The team travel to France on Saturday 2nd October for a Semi Final showdown with Toulouse Olympique, with a place in Super League just 2 games away.
Head Coach Craig Lingard and Half Back Tom Gilmore are recognised with nominations at the upcoming RFL Awards Ceremony.
Players and coaches from 13 clubs are in the running for the Betfred Championship and League 1 Awards in 2021.
Votes have been polled from the head coaches of the 14 clubs in the Betfred Championship, and the 10 in Betfred League 1, to produce shortlists of three candidates for each of six categories – Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year* and Coach of the Year in each competition.
The voting in the Player of the Year category in each competition was so tight that a shortlist of four has been announced.
The winners will be revealed in a Betfred Championship and League 1 Awards Special to be streamed on Our League next Wednesday evening (September 29) from 745pm – free to an Our League membership which is now within a few hundred Rugby League fans of breaking the 200,000 barrier.
Batley Bulldogs and Featherstone Rovers each have two contenders in the Betfred Championship awards, with Bradford Bulls, Halifax Panthers, Oldham, Swinton Lions, Toulouse Olympique and Whitehaven also represented.
Toulouse’s captain Johnathon Ford is up against Batley’s Tom Gilmore and the Featherstone team-mates Craig Hall and James Harrison for the Player of the Year award.
The three nominees for the Coach of the Year award are all involved in this Saturday’s Elimination Play-Offs – Simon Grix of Halifax Panthers and Gary Charlton of Whitehaven, whose teams face each other at The Shay, and Batley’s Craig Lingard, whose Bulldogs host Bradford.
The Bulls forward Ebon Scurr is in the running for the Young Player of the Year award, but faces stiff competition from two players who have excelled in teams struggling at the wrong end of the table – Luis Roberts of Swinton Lions, and the Oldham prop Tyler Dupree.
In Betfred League 1, Workington Town have a nominee in each of the three categories, with Barrow Raiders, Coventry Bears, Keighley Cougars and North Wales Crusaders also represented.
Workington’s Jamie Doran is one of four contenders for the Player of the Year award with the Crusaders wing Rob Massam and two members of the Barrow team who have already sealed promotion and the League Leaders’ Shield – Jamie Dallimore and Tee Ritson.
Coventry’s Richard Squires is an eye-catching nominee for Coach of the Year alongside Workington’s Chris Thorman and Anthony Murray of the Crusaders.
Brad Holroyd is Workington’s nominee for the Young Player of the Year Award and is up against two Keighley Cougars players – Charlie Graham and Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e.
In addition to these six categories, there will be three more winners revealed next Wednesday night – with a Club of the Year to be rewarded in each division, for a combination of their on and off-field performance, and a new award, the Our League Entertainer of the Year, to be decided by the votes of Our League members when a six-man shortlist is announced next Monday.
*Eligibility for the Young Player of the Year Award in each competition required a minimum of 10 first team appearances, and contenders had to have been 21 or under on January 1, 2021.
Anybody attending our Pink match will see new signage above the entrance to our main bar in the Glen Tomlinson stand renaming that bar “Beverley’s Bar” in honour of Beverley and it is fitting that this takes place over Beverley’s Pink Weekend.
Beverley was asked by me to stand in and help behind the bar for one match when we didn’t have any staff and she agreed with some reservation i think. After the first match she said that if we were still short of staff she didn’t mind doing it a bit longer. Over 16 years later she was still there and never ever took a wage. It is fair to say she loved every minute of it meeting supporters from our Club and visiting Clubs and meeting players families. She also loved working with Brian & Cath.
She was often exhausted by the end of the day especially big matches and in later years especially if it was chemotherapy week but that never put her off and the only price i ever had to pay was to pour her a drink at home and massage her feet after standing up all day. Not much really.
I know Beverley would not have wanted this naming to happen initially but afterwards she would be so honoured to be remembered in this way. Also Alexandra, myself and our family are absolutely delighted this has happened and are so proud of not just the success she made of the Bar and her legacy of Beverley’s Pink Weekend but everything she ever did. So please go and enjoy a drink from Beverley’s Bar, have a great day and let’s raise as much money as we can for our Breast Cancer charities to boost our running total of £130,500.
On Tuesday morning this week one of our players who had played in the Widnes game 48 hours previously tested positive for Covid.. The RFL carried out an analysis of that match and concluded we had no close contacts with that player during the game. We ourselves applying NHS criteria away from the stadium and RFL criteria at the stadium and on coach travel concluded that we did not believe there were any close contacts. However we tested all players on Tuesday and again on Thursday with all tests negative. We had planned training on Saturday and prior to training further testing. Regrettably two more of our players then tested positive on Saturday and training had to be cancelled. On Saturday there then followed extensive analysis by ourselves and Rfl protocols were actioned including reference by the RFL to their Multicases Covid group of experts.
We declared that as far as we could see there were no close contacts by other players with the two players that had tested positive. We were determined to play despite the fact that due to injuries we could only field 16 fit players from our first team squad and we indicated that to the RFL. We realise that Featherstone are the favourites to win this game and a void game would be better for our % of wins in the League table but we feel that for the integrity of the competition we need to seek to play games rather than call them off hence our determination to play if at all possible. We are aware of others believing that some Clubs are declaring close contacts to avoid playing games and we did not want anyone thinking that about BatleyBulldogs taking into account our opposition today.
After careful consideration the RFL decided that they would allow us to play the game provided we tested for the fourth time this week on Sunday morning which we agreed to do and then provided there were no more positive cases. That is exactly what has happened.
On Saturday we took the decision to close our ticketing option in view of the risk that the game did not take place and could not be played on an alternative date to limit the potential refund scenario. We regret we had to do this but we had little alternative other than to just let people pay on the day in the hope the game was still on. This has been a complicated challenging and stressful week all round and very time consuming preventing us from doing other things for the benefit of our Club.
All our coaches and back room staff have been absolutely magnificent and the players have had extra burdens put on them in already difficult times. We are truly proud of the way we have managed to get this game on. Clearly against a very strong Featherstone side Craig has not only been unable to pick his strongest side due to unavailability of some players but has been unable to even select 17 players and been unable to train and carry out final preparations for such an important game but we are certain firstly we have taken the best option for the benefit of our sport and secondly that every single one of our players that take the field in such challenging circumstances will give of their very best for our Club.
Whatever the result Rugby League has been played and we are proud that has been achieved by our Club against such adversity.
Kevin’s Matchday update. The Half Time Draw and a visitor to the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.
SUNDAY’S HALF TIME DRAW WINNERS – Congratulations to Elizabeth Benson and Christopher Maguire
Just to say a massive thank you for making the Swinton game such a brilliant event. It was great having people back in the stadium and that is why we are here. Maybe it was not our best performance of the season but it was a hard fought game where we ultimately got over the line and got back to winning ways. However the most important thing was that we are back even if not in an ideal way.
We wanted to say first of all thanks for troubling yourselves to buy tickets when many are accustomed to simply turning up and paying. Then thank you for not complaining about any rules and more importantly observing them as most people seemed to follow them without any issue. Anyone who came in the outside bar area before , during or after the game also contributed to a superb atmosphere . To see Swinton supporters there following their team was good to see as well as our own support as it all contributed to a day of Rugby League celebration.
We are hoping that by our next home game on 27/6/21 v Halifax we will not be under the same restrictions but for the moment it is certainly not guaranteed so it is another waiting game. It is likely we will not know where we stand until 14/6/21 so we can only hope.
The one positive about everyone needing to buy tickets online is that we now have email addresses for more people to update you about the Club and to send people this email to thank them for their support.
For the next 3 weeks we will resume our weekly online draw and would ask you to buy tickets and support it as vital income for the Club in these Covid times. We are short of TWO SPONSORS for these draws for the £100 prize if anyone can help?
Our other fundraiser towards winning pay is our WAR CHEST where people can sponsor £100 per year all our wins or £5 per win and go into a draw for £100 every time we win a game. There are War Chests on each of our bars to put an envelope with monies in. If you have not been in it before then at our next home game just put an envelope in there with any monies but also include your name ,address, telephone number and email address so that we can contact you and give you your membership number. We are sending a separate email to members who already have a membership number to go in the draw. We of course now already have 5 wins so once we are back at home we will do draws for those wins ( and hopefully more!!) and publicise winning membership numbers on our website. If you can help by joining please do so.
We had a few comments about how well the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium looked and we are proud of everything that the Club along with volunteers help have done whilst we have been away. We have had nothing else to do apart from paint, clean, repair and improve every aspect of our facility but we have done this and we are now in a good place going forward. So again thank you for your kind comments.
Finally financially we are in a sound position going forward although things will get worse over the next few months especially if we achieve what we want to do namely win as many games as possible. So we are confident with a little help and support for rest of season we can get to October still financially sound and then move forward to be as good as we possibly can both on and off the field.
So now that we have seen you again we are confident we can enjoy many years of Rugby League together.
Thank you again and hope to see you soon.
Sunday finally sees a return to supporters at the Fox’a Biscuits Stadium. After a week of changes, and wondering whether after all the waiting we would actually be able to have you with us, we finally have the green light.
The fixture is admission by TICKET ONLY, now available online at bulldogs.mysportstickets.co.uk
If you haven’t bought online with us before you will be asked to register, this is a quick process and only needs to be done once.
Your ticket will need to be selected for a SPECIFIC area and we request you only view the game from your chosen location.
We are planning for refreshments to be available throughout the afternoon, however, strict rules are in place, please see details below.
UPDATE – The ticket office will be open on Saturday morning between 0900 and 1100. At present, due to logistical issues, we will only be able to sell STANDING tickets, if this changes we will advise as soon as possible. Seated tickets will remain available online subject to capacity.
This video below outlines procedures for arrival and attendance on Sunday.
The Bulldog Bar will be open from 1.30pm, weather permitting, with distancing measures in place. If you don’t plan to come early for a drink, please do try to come in good time for kick off a last minute rush could result in delays due to the need to queue and enter safely.
At The Game.
Thank you for your support, we’re thrilled you can be with us but please remember:
1. We are still in a pandemic hence you are attending this event at your own risk and in any event please do not attend if you have any Covid symptoms.
2. Masks should always be worn when moving about the stadium but we also strongly advise you wear them at all times.
3.Social distancing is still a necessity hence please ensure that you stay at least 1 metre and if possible 2 metres from the next person outside your bubble.
4. No food or drink must be consumed on the standing terraces and only in your seat in the seated stands.
5. If queuing at any time again please observe social distancing.
6. You must only view the game from your allocated place and changing your viewing location is not permitted.
7. Drinks and food purchased from the Bulldog Bar & Kitchen behind the Glen Tomlinson Stand must be consumed at the tables there or in the seated stands.
8. If you have any issues of concern please advise the nearest steward who will assist.
9. If you are not attending the outside bar area behind the Glen Tomlinson Stand after the match then please exit the stadium
promptly and have a safe journey home.
10. Anyone not observing these rules and not following a request to do so by a steward or Club official will be asked to leave the stadium forthwith with no refund.
See below for guidance around the stadium.
This Sunday’s game against Dewsbury Rams will be postponed and rearranged for a later date in the year. Limitations on attendance would mean only a handful of the expected crowd would be able to attend, and may have needed to be limited to home support only.
After over a year with no Matchday income, The Rams were keen to play the fixture when a more realistic crowd may be able to attend, and give the game the support it deserves. We are fully behind the decision and support our neighbours completely in this move. The fixture will be rearranged for a date yet to be confirmed.
This also means we can now begin the countdown to our own first fixture with our fantastic supporters back in the stadium, as we entertain Swinton Lions on Sunday 3oth May. Full details of tickets and availability will be online in the next few days.
We can’t wait to see you!
This weekend, Batley Bulldogs will proudly stand alongside the Rugby League Family, and wider sporting community, as we support the boycott of Social Media.
As a club we have zero tolerance for racism, abuse and harassment, online, or in any circumstance.
Our Social channels will be silent between 3pm today, Friday 30th April, and 2359 Monday 3rd May.
Dr Rimla Akhtar MBE, the Chair of the RFL Inclusion and Advisory Board:
“Rugby League is committed to fighting racism and discrimination through its Tackle It action plan and supporting the many people involved in making change happen. As Non-Executive Director of the RFL and Chair of the RFL’s Inclusion Board, I am proud to see Rugby League joining the sporting world in sending out a very clear message that online hate and abuse will not be tolerated. I encourage all of the Rugby League community to join us for this weekend’s social media boycott, and to support our continuing efforts to fight this evil.”
Louise Foster-Wilson, GMB Equality and Inclusion Officer – on behalf of Rugby League Players’ Association:
“Social media can play a huge part in spreading awareness of this game we love but players and officials must feel able to use these social media platforms without facing abuse and discrimination. GMB supports all those in Rugby League and the wider sporting world in general who are joining the social media boycott this weekend. Lets work together to end discrimination once and for all #TackleIt”
Ken Davy, Executive Chairman of Super League:
“Super League and its clubs take a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of racism and are united in our cause to end discrimination in Rugby League. Social media can be a place for Rugby League fans to enjoy the best the sport has to offer, but too often players, coaches, match officials and fans face online abuse. We are proud to join with the sporting world this weekend to send a message that more needs to be done to eradicate this.”
RLWC2021 CEO, Jon Dutton:
“Rugby League World Cup 2021 stands together with the Rugby League community and other sporting governing bodies to underline the message there is no place for abuse, discrimination, hate or racism in sport.”
We are pleased to announce the launch of our Season Tickets ahead of our first home game v Oldham. Of course initially our games are Behind Closed Doors until 17th May but Adult & Concession season ticket holders will be sent a code to enable them to view streamed games at no cost. This season we have 11 Championship home games in total.
Our prices are-
Juniors – Under 16 – Free
Tickets can be purchased on our ticketing site.
New Season Ticket Cards will then we posted to you. Those supporters who were season ticket holders in 2020 should simply retain their season ticket card and once payment is made the old card will be activated for use in 2021.
At Checkout, IF YOU ARE RENEWING A PREVIOUS SEASON CARD PLEASE SELECT E-TICKET in DELIVERY OPTIONS
For new orders please select Post. A postage and packaging fee of £2 will apply.
An email will then be sent to you so that you can watch streamed games with a code at no cost.
We then hope to see you at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium as soon as possible
To purchase your tickets now go to – bulldogs.mysportstickets.co.
Junior tickets do not qualify fro free match streaming.
HALIFAX PANTHERS 6-19 BATLEY BULLDOGS
Keith McGhie, The Shay, Saturday
ANY harsh words that coach Craig Lingard may have spoken after his side’s pre-season performance at Featherstone certainly had the desired effect as the Bulldogs responded to earn a thoroughly deserved place in next weekend’s second round.
Lingard was equally forthcoming with his praise this week as his charges came up with a totally committed defensive display that frustrated Halifax and ultimately gained the visitors a first win in four attempts at the Shay, dating back to early 2016.
Tries from newboys Jack Logan and Jodie Broughton plus a vital ‘nerve calmer’ by ex-Fax hooker Ben Kaye weres enough to clinch the win but it was at the other end of the park that a tight and occasionally error-strewn match was really won.
The Panthers, with that wonderful run to the semi-finals less than two years ago still fresh in the memory, gave competitive debuts to Connor Robinson, Liam Harris, Nick Rawsthorne, Dan Murray and Gadwin Springer.
Their West Yorkshire rivals paraded six new acquisitions in Jodie Broughton, Tom Gilmore, Kieran Buchanan, Josh Tonk, Logan and student world cup star Elliot Hall, whilst the Bulldogs included several ex-Fax players, although potentially two of the most significant – Dane Manning and Anthony Bowman – along with the club captain James Brown, were ruled out through injury.
But former Shay favourites Kaye, Broughton, Gilmore and Ben White did take to the field for the men from Mount Pleasant, for whom off the bench captain Alistair Leak was rewarded for his seven year stint the club with a 150th appearance.
For almost half an hour it was stalemate with Fax skipper Brandon Moore and Murray, starting his second stint with the Shaymen, going closest to breaking the deadlock with drives in quick succession to within half a yard of the whitewash.
Jacob Fairbank broke but lost possession 20 metres further forward, as Luke Hooley was forced off after suffering a blow to the nose in the tackle.
The impressive Dale Morton was taken out after a high kick from White and the offended against Batley back took the opportunity to edge the first ever winners of the Challenge Cup ahead with the penalty just before the half-hour mark.
Within two minutes Morton broke free down the right wing and Logan was on hand to cover the last 40 metres and score beside the posts.
Morton added his second goal in as many minutes to give the visitors an 8-0 half time lead.
Ten minutes after the restart Buchanan plucked the a high ball from a defender’s grasp and fed Broughton who scored but Morton’s kick agonisingly struck the near upright and bounced out, meaning Fax were potentially still only two scores adrift.
The hosts quickly took advantage as a Harris kick wasn’t dealt with and Matt Garside pounced to help halve the deficit as Robinson added the conversion.
Fax piled forward looking for more and only a brilliant tackle prevented Scott Grix grounding in the corner when Fax attacked down the left with a three on one man advantage.
It seemed the now backs-against-the-wall Bulldogs would have to score again and Kaye, left at first receiver after an earlier drive, obliged with a close range try 13 minutes from time. Robinson threatened once more when Moore and Murray created an opening but again a last ditch hand dislodged the ball and White finally sealed Batley’s passage with a late one-pointer.
GAMESTAR: Josh Tonks – Described by his coach as “outstanding” in epitomising the all-effort Bulldogs display to edge the honour from Dale Morton and Tom Gilmour
GAMEBREAKER: Batley couldn’t relax until the Ben White drop goal went over as Halifax still threatened.
Match Report courtesy of League Express
Drop Goal: White (67)
SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-2, 0-8, 0-12, 6-12, 6-18, 6-19
Rugby Leaguer & League Express Men of the Match:
Panthers: Josh Tonks
Bulldogs: Gadwin Springer
Penalty count: 2-5
Six again: 4-2
Referee: Ben Thaler
Craig Lingard’s men finished well in their second and final warm up fixture against promotion favourites Featherstone Rovers.
The Bulldogs had the worst possible start as Rovers took an early lead with 2 quick tries, Chisholm adding a 3rd before Elliot Hall struck for the visitors just before the break. The second half was a similar story with the hosts adding a further 3 scores before Batley worked their way back into the game.
An excellent move down the blindside involving Gilmore, Hooley and Hall was finished in style by Alistair Leak. Moments later a similar move saw a try ruled out for a forward pass, before the impressive Hall added his second after scooping up a loose ball close to his own line and racing away from the chasing pack for a comfortable finish. Dale Morton adding the conversions.
A difficult test for the Bulldogs against this highly fancied Featherstone side, but a number of stand out performances will have pleased Head Coach Lingard, and given the coaching staff food for thought ahead of next Saturday’s season opener, away to Hhalifax in the Betfred Challenge Cup.
Rovers 36-16 Bulldogs.
Photographs by Dan Winner. Copyright Batley Bulldogs.
Craig Lingard’s Bulldogs fell to a narrow defeat to rivals Dewsbury Rams in an entertaining fixture at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.
Jodie Broughton opened the scoring or the home side, before Dewsbury hit back soon after. The lead then switched hands regularly before the visitors ran out winners.
After 12 months without any match action at all, both sets of players deserve huge praise for their efforts on the day, with enterprising Rugby League on show.
The Bulldogs now move on to their second and final warm up fixture at Featherstone next Saturday, 1.30pm Kick Off.
Match Pictures by Dan Winner Copyright Batley Bulldogs
The Bulldogs have moved to capture exciting outside back Jack Logan.
The former Hull FC man made over 40 appearances for the Super League outfit, with a thrilling Hat-Trick against their arch rivals in the Hull Derby making him a firm fans favourite.
With spells at Toronto Wolfpack and Doncaster, Jack also has good experience outside of Super League to add to an all round knowledge of the professional game.
He joins his former FC colleague Kieran Buchanan at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium and Bulldogs Coach Craig Lingard is delighted to add more depth to his squad.
“Jack is a really exciting talent. Very powerful and with speed to burn, we’re thrilled to have him join us at Batley.”
Jack himself told us “It all happened really quickly. I spoke to Kieran early in the week and he put me in touch with Linners. 24 Hours later there was a deal signed. I’m very excited to be here and can’t wait to get going. Everyone has been really welcoming”
It was key to be able to move quickly, and the flexibility the club had owes a big part to the fantastic support given to the Half-Time Draws, with funds raised now reaching over £30,000.
With the first fixtures now in the diary and the squad really falling into place, we can finally start to look forward to Rugby League being back in our plans.
Look out for our full interview with Jack tomorrow morning.
The Betfred Championship will return after a year’s absence over the Easter weekend in April with a new club in Newcastle Thunder, a new name in Halifax Panthers, and a superb new stadium in York.
Thunder, who were elevated from Betfred League 1 last December to take the Championship place vacated by Leigh’s promotion to the Super League, will kick off at Kingston Park with an attractive fixture against Widnes Vikings – meaning all manner of reunions, as the Newcastle brains trust of Denis Betts and Eamon O’Carroll both have strong links with Widnes, while the new Vikings coach Simon Finnigan left Thunder to take up that position last year.
Halifax’s first game following their rebrand as the Panthers will be a tough one against Danny Ward’s London Broncos at The Shay.
Meanwhile York City Knights, who have made a number of eyecatching signings with considerable Super League experience including Ryan Atkins, Adam Cuthbertson and Ben Jones-Bishop, will play their first competitive fixture at the 8,500-capacity LNER Community Stadium against a Toulouse Olympique team whose new recruits include the former France and Catalans Dragons captain Remi Casty.
The opening round of fixtures also includes a traditional Easter derby between Oldham and Swinton Lions, while Featherstone Rovers will host Batley Bulldogs, Whitehaven travel to Dewsbury Rams, and John Kear’s Bradford Bulls face the club he guided to famous Wembley victory in 1998, Sheffield Eagles – with that game to be played at the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster where the Eagles will be based for 2021 before a planned return to Sheffield in 2022.
Doncaster will kick off their Betfred League 1 campaign on the weekend of May 8-9 at Keighley Cougars, when the other opening round fixtures include Hunslet hosting Workington Town, the promotion favourites Barrow Raiders travelling to Coventry Bears, London Skolars taking on North Wales Crusaders, and a trip to Rochdale Hornets for the West Wales Raiders – who have declared their ambition by signing the former Wales rugby union international Gavin Henson, and the former England league international Rangi Chase.
The Betfred Championship season comprises 22 rounds of fixtures running until the weekend of September 19, with each of the 14 teams playing nine of the other 13 twice and the other four once. The Summer Bash will not be played in 2021 because of the expectation that crowds will have to be socially-distanced and therefore limited when fans are permitted to return.
In Betfred League 1, there will be a full home and away programme producing 18 rounds of fixtures ending one week earlier than the Championship, on the weekend of September 12.
Following a meeting of Championship and League 1 clubs with the RFL last week, it has been agreed that positions on the league table in each competition will be determined by points percentage, as in the Betfred Super League in 2020.
This is to recognise the likelihood of fixtures being affected by Covid-19, with postponements permitted if a team loses seven or more players for Covid-related reasons – either players with positive tests, or who have been ruled out through test and trace analysis of close contacts in matches or training.
The first option will be for matches to be rearranged on a free date – but if this is not possible, the fixture will be cancelled.
It has also been determined to suspend Golden Point Extra Time for drawn matches for the 2021 season, following concerns expressed at the meeting for the welfare of players who will have gone more than a year since their last fixture, and the majority of whom are part-time. The intention is to reintroduce Golden Point for the 2022 campaign.
Now that the fixtures have been released for the regular season of the Betfred Championship and the draw made for the First and Second Rounds of the Betfred Challenge Cup, the RFL will work with all clubs, broadcasters and streaming partners over the next week to confirm when over the Easter Weekend the opening round Championship games will be played and also confirm the exact day and kick-off time for all First Round games of the Challenge Cup.
Betfred Championship games that are played behind closed doors will be live streamed on the Our League app & website with home season ticket holders given free access to their club’s live stream and all other fans able watch via Pay Per View. Some Betfred Challenge Cup games will be live streamed by the BBC and Betfred with others available on Our League.
The exact day and kick-off time for the games in Round Two onwards of the Betfred Championship will be confirmed in the coming weeks when it is hoped that Government announcements will have given a clearer indication of when fans will be able to return to stadiums.
Betfred Championship Opening Round (Easter weekend, April 2-5 – dates and kick-off times tbc): Dewsbury Rams v Whitehaven, Featherstone Rovers v Batley Bulldogs, Halifax Panthers v London Broncos, Newcastle Thunder v Widnes Vikings, Oldham v Swinton Lions, Sheffield Eagles v Bradford Bulls, York City Knights v Toulouse Olympique.
Betfred League 1 Opening Round (May 8-9 – – dates and kick-off times tbc): Coventry Bears v Barrow Raiders, Hunslet v Workington Town, Keighley Cougars v Doncaster, London Skolars v North Wales Crusaders, Rochdale Hornets v West Wales Raiders.
A return to action grew one step closer with a definite focus as the draw for rounds 1 and 2 of the Betfred Challenge Cup took place on Thursday evening. The Bulldogs facing a difficult trip to Halifax Panthers in what should be a thrilling opening encounter. The winner of the tie will face either Featherstone Rovers or Bradford Bulls in Round 2.
Although almost certainly to be played behind closed doors, it’s a date to build towards ad hopefully the beginning of the a move towards games with supporters in the future.
The aim is for the initial games to be streamed live, though plans to cover this are still being discussed.
Bulldogs Head Coach Craig Lingard and his backroom staff have been working tirelessly to organise training in as safe an environment as possible, with Covid Testing each week at the stadium and strict rules in place, and is now looking forward to the task ahead as the hard work so far finally has a focus.
Hear his thoughts on the draw, the build up, and an online Q&A to come in the near future.
The Betfred Championship and League 1 clubs considered a number of options for the 2021 season at a virtual meeting on Wednesday evening.
The consensus reached was that the Betfred Championship season could and should be delayed by several weeks from the scheduled start of late February, in recognition of the current public health situation and the likely implications on the return of fans to elite sport.
For similar reasons, the Betfred League 1 clubs were supportive of a longer delay to the start of their season, which will now begin later in the spring.
That will also allow a staggered return to training following the pause advised by the RFL last week in response to the latest Lockdown, which will also take into account the needs of players to prepare thoroughly after such a long lay-off.
Betfred Championship clubs have been cleared to return from this weekend (Saturday January 16), but initially only for “Stage 1 plus” – which permits socially distanced (non-contact) training outdoors – with the intention of moving to “Stage 2”, with contact training permitted, from February 1.
Betfred League 1 clubs will be cleared to begin a similar staged process in February – with all clubs at each level required to satisfy the RFL that that they are able to meet strict conditions regarding testing and biosecurity.
Discussions over a delayed return date for Academy and Scholarship programmes have also been held with the relevant Betfred Super League and Championship clubs this week, and all clubs, players and coaches will now be updated before an announcement in the next week.
England Women’s scheduled return to training this weekend has been postponed by a week, and further discussions will be held with Betfred Women’s Super League clubs this week about their pre-season training schedule.
Further details of the schedule for the 2021 Betfred Championship and League 1, including the early rounds of the Challenge Cup, will be published over the weekend, following further feedback from the clubs and consultation with the RFL Board – with fixture lists to follow.
Ralph Rimmer, the RFL Chief Executive, said: “We have been grateful to our clubs throughout the last 10 months for their responsible and constructive approach to such a challenging period for all, and Wednesday’s meeting was another example of that.
There remains a desire and determination, from the RFL as well as clubs, to get back on the field as soon as is safely possible. However there is also a recognition of the need to be responsible at this time.
A staged return to pre-season training, after the short pause advised last week, followed by a staggered start to the Betfred Championship and League 1 seasons, represents the best way for us to combine this responsibility with other priorities of player welfare and the financial sustainability of our clubs.
This approach extends to the Academy and Scholarship programmes, which are so important to the future health of the game as well as the mental health of the youngsters involved – and we will confirm shortly a similar approach for the Betfred Women’s Super League.”
The RFL can today confirm the preferred structure of the 2021 season for Betfred Championship and League 1, and also a new format for the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup.
The clubs held a virtual meeting last Friday, and while agreeing on the need to maintain flexibility given the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Covid-19, all recognised the importance of providing players and supporters with a clear plan.
The intention is for the season to begin with the return of the Betfred Championship on the weekend of February 27-28 – meaning a first fixture in more than 11 months for 14 clubs including Newcastle Thunder, who will take the place vacated by Leigh’s elevation to the Betfred Super League.
Clubs have already agreed that games played behind closed doors will be streamed live on the RFL’s Our League platforms (app & website) on a pay per view basis, allowing supporters to watch fixtures even if they cannot attend in person – with home season ticket holders given free access to the live stream packages for their Clubs league games.
The opening Championship round will be followed by the first two rounds of the Challenge Cup on the first two weekends of March, with the 10 clubs from Betfred League 1 kicking off their campaigns in the First Round joined by four Championship clubs, to produce seven winners who will join the other nine English Championship clubs in the Second Round the following week*. see notes below
That will produce eight winners who will contest four Third Round ties two weeks later to produce four clubs to join the 12 Betfred Super League clubs in the last 16 in April.
Those four teams will also qualify for the semi finals of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup, the competition introduced for non-Super League clubs in 2019 to provide a second and more realistic opportunity of playing on Challenge Cup Final day at Wembley.
In 2021, the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup semi finals are again scheduled to be played on the same weekend as the Challenge Cup semi finals in June, with the Final at Wembley on Saturday July 17.
The late February start will allow a 26-round campaign in the Betfred Championship, meaning each of the 14 clubs will be scheduled to play the other 13 home and away – leading to a Play-Off for the top six teams, and the £1M Game in October.
Full details of the league campaign will be determined early in the New Year, when a decision will also be made about whether it is practical to hold the Betfred Championship Summer Bash in 2021.
Betfred League 1 will be an 18-round competition, with each of the 10 clubs playing the other nine home and away. Details of the Betfred League 1 Play-Offs, and of promotion and relegation between the two competitions, will be confirmed in the New Year.
It has also been agreed that the league table in each competition will be determined on a points percentage system, as with Betfred Super League in 2020, in recognition of the likelihood of Covid-19 remaining a factor. Again, full details of this will be finalised in the New Year, along with the testing procedures for clubs.
Toulouse Olympique will not participate in the Challenge Cup or the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup in 2021.
The draw for the First and Second Rounds have been scheduled for w/c 4 January.
Fixtures for Betfred Championship and League 1 are scheduled to be announced in mid-January.
2021 schedule – summary
February 27-28: Betfred Championship, Round 1
March 6-7: Challenge Cup, Round 1
March 13-14: Challenge Cup, Round 2
March 20-21: Betfred League 1, Round 1
March 27-28: Challenge Cup, Round 3
April 9-11: Challenge Cup, Round 4 (Betfred Super League clubs enter)
With The Betfred Championship Clubs keen for a return to action, Bulldogs’ Chairman Kevin Nicholas gives an idea of how the season may start, and news of final squad developments at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.
Half Time Draw tickets on sale at bulldogs.mysportstickets.co.uk
As Chairman I thought I would give you an update of where the Club is at the moment particularly after The RFL announcement regarding the season.
First of all regarding return to play in 2020. I personally think The RFL have made the best decision in all the circumstances. We as a Club along with most other Clubs said we did not want to play behind closed doors so that has been ruled out for Championship. At the moment unless things change we are looking to have crowds from October but with social distancing. We believe that our stadium can accommodate a sufficient crowd to make this feasible although certainly not ideal. We can get the numbers in to accommodate our average gates but the crowd will be spaced out around the whole of the stadium not just in specific areas. It will be all ticket games and tickets will likely be for a particular part of the stadium so book early if you want to be in a particular place before it is sold out. We clearly have not worked out the system yet but this is an early warning of the likely format. Also there will possibly have to be a one way system which may be inconvenient but the only alternative. We have 2 months to prepare and 2 months for things to change!!
There are stringent government guidelines which we have only just been provided with where we have to satisfy everybody that we can comply if we want to play. We are presently canvassing views of players about training and playing as clearly they may have holidays booked in what would have been the close season, they may have job issues or indeed other issues that would cause difficulties. So as a Club we want to play in the Cup competition proposed in October and November which would hopefully give us a minimum of 6 games. However we have plenty to sort out. It is our job to sort it if at all possible as after all we are a Rugby League Club and therefore we should want to play rugby league. We will try to keep you updated as and when things become clearer.
We have opened the bar on the last two Sundays with background music and last Sunday with some limited food.Also clearly we have run a weekly fundraising draw where we are simply asking supporters to buy a minimum one ticket at £2 every week to help the Club keep going on a stable footing. The draw will have made over £15,000 by this week which is brilliant and the bar has had limited success where we are dependent on the weather. If we are to succeed we need to try to keep these going and we need your support it is as simple as that.
Please note, due to other commitments we are unable to open this Sunday but plan to resume this on August 2nd
I have spoken to a couple of supporters who told me they thought some people had stopped buying tickets for a couple of reasons and I am glad I was told this so let me clarify a couple of issues in the hope our draw is boosted and people support the bar.
First of all with the help of furlough we are presently financially stable as we had already cleared debts and are run in a stable way anyway. We have paid the players their contracts as that is what we promised to do when they signed. They have not had any match payments and have bought tickets in the draw every week and indeed this week sponsored the draw so we are all in this together. Whether they play at the Club in 2021 or not they all know that Batley Bulldogs has treated them more than fairly this year and hopefully every year. All players are welcome back to the Club anytime even if with another Club and hopefully they feel welcome when they do. Again we are delighted with the players attitude this year.
So any fundraising is to ensure we can go forward and survive 2021 which is the time when it will be difficult. As yet we do not know our financial distribution from the Rfl through Sky monies but from what we have been advised we believe we as a Club will be £48,000 worse off so that is the starting point before we take into account reduced income in all other areas including of course gates, bar and food sales ,sponsorship etc etc. So we have a shortfall to say the least. We are cutting our cloth but there is not a lot of cloth left to cut. Thankfully it seems at the moment players everywhere are being realistic regarding finances which helps a lot. However we certainly cannot afford to make a £48,000+ loss. So we have a job to do and we are doing it but we do need help.
In my updates I have mentioned about us painting everywhere and doing works round the ground as we seek to make a fresh start. We are also having new ladies and gents toilets, a new gym and possibly refurbishing hospitality boxes and side windows in the Glen Tomlinson Stand. Does this mean we are financially well off or just diverting monies from spending on players? It does not.
Much of the minor works done at the Club are done by volunteers, directors , an ex-player and sponsors and even much of the materials are kindly supplied by sponsors and directors. So at the most it has cost us a few hundred pounds but the works done have been outstanding.
Then we get to the more substantial works done at the Club. These were planned and in place well before lockdown as when you try to get works done for no cost I can assure you it takes time. The works are done with the help of superb sponsors and directors. In addition major works have been done by me doing major legal works for clients I have known for years who have no connection or allegiance to the Club at all but do work either as a favour to me or instead of paying legal fees. Hence an unusual situation perhaps but one which has helped the Club to improve the stadium for over 20 years.
So the bottom line is that no money is being used from the playing budget to do all this excellent works and we are not cash rich.
Every Pound that is donated to the draw or behind the bar or in any other fundraiser is going to ensure we get a decent team on that pitch in 2021 and we don’t go bankrupt doing it.
I previously said we are not exactly sure of finances next year but every week we feel more comfortable about an aspect of our finances we look to sign another player for next year. I can tell you now recruitment is going well and the more successful the draw each week the more comfortable we feel to take a risk despite the uncertainty to sign another player. We are not at this stage making announcements about players for 2021 as we are concentrating on hopefully playing in 2020. Not everyone will agree with that but that is what we have decided rightly or wrongly.
However the success of the draw has helped us to feel comfortable in starting to plan for 2021 and the plans so far are going very well. Our next target is to get to £20,000 for the draw as quickly as possible and to raise what we can over the bar so please help us to do this and boost player recruitment further for next year. If you call at the Club I am happy to answer any further questions but I do hope you can see that we do definitely need your help.
The Betfred Championship and League 1 seasons will not resume in 2020 – this follows the Government announcement last week identifying October as the earliest opportunity for the return of crowds to sport, and the finding of a survey of Betfred Championship and League 1 clubs that a majority in each competition would not support playing matches Behind Closed Doors. Again, the issue of protecting the solvency of clubs informed this decision.
The Betfred Championship and League 1 clubs will be invited to play in a competition this autumn, with a theme of celebrating the sport’s 125th anniversary – and with a prize pot of £250,000, thanks in part to financial support from the Betfred Super League clubs. Further details of this competition will follow this week – it will be voluntary, and there will be a detailed application process requiring clubs to prove their ability to meet the necessary protocols and medical standards. There will be no automatic promotion to the Betfred Super League from this competition.
The RFL Board met on Monday evening to make decisions, as promised earlier this month, on the future of the Betfred Championship and League 1 competitions in 2020, and on promotion and relegation between those two competitions and also the Betfred Super League.
The Board also discussed the withdrawal of Toronto Wolfpack from the Betfred Super League for the rearranged 2020 season – with further discussions to follow with SLE, as per today’s statement.
There will be no relegation from the 11-team Betfred Super League in 2020 – for reasons of integrity, player welfare and also to protect the solvency of clubs.
Local lad and former Batley RLFC & Great Britain Star Carl Gibson is the latest club hero to have his name placed permanently at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium. “Gibbo” played 145 times for the Mount Pleasant Club, scoring an incredible 86 Tries, and being selected for the GB Squad whilst still a part time Batley player. He went on to have an outstanding career with Leeds, and a spell at Featherstone, before returning to his home town club.
Last year Carl was amongst the first stars indecited to the Batley RLFC Hall of fame and now we have The Carl Gibson Entrance by the Glen Tomlinson Stand.
In a chat with John Miller, Carl said he was thrilled to have been recognised by the club and the memories of his time on the famous slope are still clear. See the full interview below.
Batley Bulldogs are proud to create our own Roll of Honour for NHS workers and Carers to truly show our appreciation, as a Club, for those members of our family who are there for us all the time and now more so are helping us get through these difficult times.
For this we will dedicate a full page on the club website HERE. Please take a read for full details and to appreciate the fabulous people we have associated with the club. We also need your help to nominate new members.
On 14th March I went on holiday to Portugal as we did not have a game that weekend, intending to return on 21/3 so that I could attend our scheduled vitally important game away at Whitehaven the following day.
To say the last week has been dramatic is a woefully inadequate understatement, as in those 7 days away the world has changed in a way never before seen. There has been and will be tragic loss of life, so that should be everyone’s primary concern, but we do have to try to plan for times when we beat this and as a Club we certainly have to do this and we have now had discussions about how we can move forward and survive.
Let us start by being positive. We have not supported this Club all our lives and the present Board and officials have not worked tirelessly now over 22 years for us now to lose everything. So one way or another we can say that Batley Bulldogs will survive as a semi professional Club that the Town and all connected with it can be proud of. Let’s get that perfectly clear to everybody who wants to know.
Next continuing on a positive note we are in a position to believe we have got as good a chance as ANY Club because firstly we own our Stadium free of mortgage so we have a base, at arguably the oldest ground in world Rugby League, and secondly as we speak, because of the way we run the Club, we are not burdened with significant debts so we go into this crisis on a sound financial footing. Not all Clubs can say that but we can and do.
Having said that by no stretch of the imagination will it be easy and we know there are testing times ahead as we face a period with no income and equally we do not have the luxury of savings we can fall back on to ride the storm. We will rely on the government measures already announced and any others on the way. We will also rely on support from Sky and the RFL. I should add that I believe Ralph Rimmer and the RFL are working tirelessly to get everybody through this as best they can. So we need help but we also have to help ourselves to get through this period and come out the other side as best we can.
What are our plans?
In the same way that the government have to change their plans daily we initially are looking at the next 12 weeks as they are. We are constantly reviewing our finances and how we can meet our responsibilities as they arise, and we are working on the stadium and infrastructure of the Club whilst we cannot do other work surrounding running a rugby club and playing games.
By the time we get back playing our facilities will never have looked so good as we try to use the time wisely to improve. We are also aware of the need to try to keep social media as active as possible to keep interest in the sport and our Club. So we are all actively trying our best to get in a good position to survive.
We do have some debts to address and we do need to try to get in whatever monies we can to help. We do also realise that people may very well have their own financial concerns so may not have an abundance of spare monies to help their Club in any event. So we now wish to kick off some small initiatives which will especially help the more people we can engage with the Club.
So how can we help in the short term?
1. We have seen the success of the Featherstone v York virtual game and have spoken to our friends there who maintain this was a great help to their Clubs, backed by their supporters trying to help ensure the future of their Club and having a bit of much needed fun on the way.
We are presently working towards a Bulldogs Legends v Supporters game again details to be announced hopefully sometime later this week Again watch this space on how you can support this initiative which we hope will bring in finance and create social media interest for supporters.
2. Whilst ever we do not have games we hope to arrange a weekly draw with a chance to win money. Each week we will try to vary it to create a bit more interest but initially to get us up and running we aim to just have a simple draw like a raffle.
So here goes-
In week 1 we are asking supporters to buy tickets at £2 each (thats £1.80 + 20p transaction fee) via our ticketing website. Once purchased it generates a ticket with a number on it . That number will then go in a draw for a prize in the first week of £100. The draw will take place at 3.45pm on next Sunday 29th March.
That would be half time at our game if we were playing which is appropriate in place of our normal half time draw. As weeks go by if it is popular we hope the prize will increase. Again we need your support to make this work. So click here to buy your tickets and good luck.
That’s it for now but hopefully this is just the start of our survival plan.
THIS IS YOUR CLUB- BATLEY BULLDOGS
Clubs from the Betfred Championship and League 1 met by conference call with the Rugby Football League today to consider the implications of the suspension of the 2020 season enforced by the latest Government guidelines surrounding Covid-19 and social distancing and mass gatherings.
Ralph Rimmer, the RFL Chief Executive, said: “Public health and concern for the most vulnerable is everyone’s priority.
It was important that we exchanged information and allowed the clubs to discuss their position as soon as possible following the confirmation that the season will be suspended.
“This will have a significant impact on clubs at all levels, as on all businesses, in all sectors. It is important for us as a governing body to be able to represent those clubs, given what a powerful force for good they are in our communities.
“It was a positive meeting at which all agreed on the importance of a collegiate approach, both for the Championship and League 1 clubs and the game as a whole – focusing on three key areas of player welfare, club sustainability, and the integrity of the competitions.”
“We will maintain regular dialogue with the clubs, as well as with Government, broadcasters and sponsors, over the period of our initial suspension until the weekend of 3 April, as we work together and look forward to the resumption of games.”
The RFL has consistently followed the Government’s advice.
All activity in the Community Game is suspended – training, games, festivals, sessions, courses etc.
The RFL will also reschedule coach education courses over the coming weeks.
The RFL is making more Rugby League coaching, learning and fun resources available to coaches and clubs, parents and children – focused on staying well and engaged in the sport in different ways. There will be content, quizzes, competitions and prizes for children and young people, and for adults.
The RFL is working with RLWC2021 to make sure that everyone in Rugby League and our wider communities can access the new Mental Fitness Charter resources.
And a full programme of Rugby League content lined up for Our League and rugby-league.com; starting with great matches like England v Tonga semi-final from RLWC2017 on Saturday.
The RFL has also suspended England Performance Unit activity, which means the gatherings that had been planned for the England Wheelchair squad in Sheffield this weekend, and by the new England Head Coach Shaun Wane at Old Trafford on 23rd March, have been postponed. In each case, they will be rearranged as soon as possible, consistent with Government advice.
The Rugby Football League and Super League Europe today announce a suspension of fixtures in the Betfred Super League season, initially until 3rd April, during which time the season’s structure and fixture rescheduling will be considered.
This follows the latest Government advice regarding social contact and mass gatherings.
The Super League clubs discussed a range of contingency plans with the RFL at their board meeting in Huddersfield, and the situation will be reviewed with broadcasters and sponsors throughout the initial suspension.
These changes will also apply across other competitions including the Championship, League 1, Betfred Women’s Super League and the community game, with the RFL to have further discussions of the implications at meetings of Championship and League 1 clubs and community board over the next couple of days.
Joint statement from Robert Elstone, the Executive Chairman of Super League Europe, and Ralph Rimmer, CEO of Rugby Football League: “These are unprecedented times, and they present significant financial and commercial implications for Rugby League, which will be further considered during the period of suspension.
“Super League is also an international competition, and consideration has to be given to our clubs in Canada and France, particularly around travel restrictions and scheduling fixtures.
“Player welfare and maintaining the integrity of the competition are key concerns moving forward. Equally our responsibilities to Rugby League communities remain front of mind for all of us.
“The whole country is facing major challenges – and the support of our fans, partners and stakeholders is needed now more than ever before.”
Sky Sports to show Betfred Championship Play-Offs in 2020
Play-Off structure for Championship and League 1 amended
New Wembley kick-off time for AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final
The Rugby Football League today confirm an amended structure for the Betfred Championship and League 1 Play-Offs in 2020; live and exclusive coverage of the Championship Play-Offs and Final on Sky Sports; and a new kick-off time for the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup at Wembley in July.
The RFL held a launch event today at Huddersfield Town Hall, the venue chosen as the sport celebrates 125 years since its foundation as the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895 at Huddersfield’s George Hotel.
All 14 clubs from the Betfred Championship, and 11 from Betfred League 1, were represented, in addition to players, coaches and administrators from the Betfred Women’s Super League, the Wheelchair Super League, the Physical Disability Super League, the Learning Disability Super League, the National Conference League, the RFL Youth Board, Masters Rugby League, Touch, Try Tag, the new X-League, and other competitions in the community game.
In 2020, the winners of the Betfred Championship’s Top Five Play-Offs will again be promoted to the Betfred Super League – but the Play-Offs structure has been slightly amended.
Whereas previously, home advantage through the Play-Offs has been determined by position in the final league table, those rankings can now be changed by results in the Play-Offs.
This means that the winners of the major Semi Final in Round Two of the Play-Offs will earn home advantage in the Grand Final two weeks later – while the losers of that Semi Final will have home advantage in the Preliminary Final the following weekend.
The same system will apply to the Betfred League 1 Play-Offs involving the teams finishing second, third, fourth, fifth and six in the table – with the winners of the Betfred League 1 Play-Off Final earning promotion to the Betfred Championship in 2021 with the team finishing top of the table (the League Leaders).
In a major pre-season boost to the Betfred Championship, Sky Sports have also confirmed that they will again show live and exclusive coverage of the Play-Offs and Final – the latter scheduled for the weekend of October 3-4.
The RFL can also confirm today that the Final of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup will kick off at midday at Wembley Stadium on Saturday July 18 – before the Final of the Coral Challenge Cup at 3pm.
Last year, Sheffield Eagles were crowned the inaugural winners of the knockout competition for non-Super League clubs by beating Widnes Vikings at Wembley, with the match being played after the Coral Challenge Cup Final, and kicking off at 545pm.
The traditional Wembley curtain-raiser, the Year 7 Boys Final in the Warners Champion Schools competition, will now have a morning kick-off, before the 1895 Cup Final.
Mark Foster, the RFL’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We’re delighted to be able to confirm that Sky Sports will again be showing the Betfred Championship Play-Offs this autumn, allowing them to capture the twists and turns in the battle for promotion to the Betfred Super League.
“It’s great exposure for our leading Championship clubs, adding to the exciting expanded programme of coverage on the RFL’s Our League platform this season with a new focus on live Sunday night matches.
“Our League will also be providing extensive coverage of Betfred League 1 including the Play-Offs, and we have listened to the views of the clubs in both competitions in making changes to the structure of the Play-Offs in both which will provide a greater reward for results during the Play-Offs themselves.
“We’ve also listened to the views of clubs and supporters in working to change the kick-off time of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup. We’re grateful for the co-operation of Wembley Stadium in allowing us to bring the kick-off forward, and we hope that change will be welcomed – and ensure a suitable atmosphere in the stadium when the winners receive their trophy.”
We’re thrilled to announce vastly experienced hooker Shaun Lunt has joined Batley Bulldogs.
A career covering Workington Town, Castleford Tigers, Huddersfield Giants, Hull KR and Leeds Rhinos has seen Shaun score over 160 Tries from the Number 9 spot, making over 300 career appearances.
A Grand Final win with Leeds Rhinos, 3 Challenge Cup Final appearances and international honours, Shaun brings a huge amount of quality and knowledge to the club. Chief Executive Paul Harrison told us “This is a massive signing for the club. To have a player with this level of experience is invaluable and we’re excited to be welcoming Shaun to The Bulldogs.”
Head Coach Craig Lingard has beaten of a number of high profile clubs, all interested in the Super League star, and the signing has been made possible thanks to the support of club sponsor, Signature Resin Floors Ltd. Paul Clayton of Signature Resin Floors added “We’ve really enjoyed our time involved with Batley Bulldogs so far and we’re happy to be able to help wherever we can.”
As always BISSA have added their invaluable support to the deal and continue to back the club on a weekly basis.
Pictured below alongside Shaun Lunt, are Paul Clayton from Signature Resin Floors, and Colin Bottomley of BISSA.
Batley Bulldogs 2020 Season Tickets will go on sale, online and at the club, from Thursday 28th November.
The new cards will celebrate the 10th anniversary of our fabulous day in Blackpool, and victory in the Northern Rail Cup Final.
We are pleased to confirm that season tickets for 2020 will be at the same price as the previous campaign.
A big thank you to sponsors of our season tickets FRANKIE’S who have enabled us to continue to offer our new Kids tickets free.
Season ticket holders can also present their ticket at FRANKIE’S and receive a 10% discount on their bill so that’s great news for everybody.
The season ticket covers admission to all home Championship games, and allows the purchase of a half price ticket to the Summer Bash. Junior Tickets are free of charge and allow access to most AWAY league fixtures, subject to the host club approval.
Online sales may be available earlier than 28th November, keep an eye on club media for any updates.
SHIRT SPONSORSHIP AVAILABLE AT BULLDOGS
Due to a last minute change of plan a rare sponsorship opening has become available on the Batley Bulldogs 2020 Playing Shirt.
With player and macth images reaching worldwide audiences online, and with the possibility of broadcast coverage, a spot on the shirt is a fantastic oportunity for brand exposure, along with the ability to network with other club sponsors.
Packages can be tailored to suit the needs of any potential partner and can be arranged to include Matchday Hospitality, perimeter boards or simply the spot on the shirt.
For full details or to enquire contact PaulHarrison@Batleybulldogs.co.uk.
The Bulldogs have moved swiftly to appoint Craig Lingard as new Head Coach at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.
As assistant to John Kear Lingard helped guide the team to a Championship Grand Final in 2013, and the Super 8 Qualifier Series after a 3rd place finish in 2016. After leaving Batley he managed Keighley Cougars through an incredibly testing period for the club, where without a points deduction the reformed Cougars would have been sitting in 3rd place at the time of his departure.
As a player Lingard still remains the club’s record scorer with 142 Tries in 206 appearances.
In a second move, Northern Rail Cup winning coach Karl Harrison will act as Consultant advisor to the coaching staff.
Karl brings a wealth of unrivalled experience across all levels of the game, and an excellent knowledge of the championship and the challenges presented by the division.
Following an initial 3 year period, Batley Bulldogs feel it is the right time for a change of direction at the club and Matt Diskin will leave his role as Head Coach with immediate effect.
In his first season at the club The Bulldogs reached the Championship Shield semi final. The 2017 campaign finshed with a flourish as the side registered 6 wins from the final 7 games, but 2019 has been a difficult year for the club both on and off the field.
Matt’s effort and commitment to the club cannot be questioned and he leaves a legacy of improvements, including the new player’s gym, behind which he was a driving force after taking charge of the team. Through the recent most difficult times off the field, Matt has been a credit to the club and himself in the way he has handled the situation. He will leave with our sincere thanks and appreciation for all he has done at Batley Bulldogs.
Assistant Coach Lee St. Hilaire had also recently expressed a desire to spend more time with his family, and decided he would be leaving his role at the club. As with Matt, our thanks and best wishes go to Lee for his outstanding work and professionalism over the past 3 years.
Kevin & Alexandra Nicholas revealed the astonishing amounts raised during this year’s Pink events at the weekend.
After adding funds from the Wembley walk and all aditional monies raised from the Pink Weekend itself, and incedible gestures such as Michael Ward’s head shave, the 2019 total reached an amazing £47,496.
Beverley’s dream and ambition was to reach £100,000 over our series of events and this amount takes us way past that to a grand total in 6 years of £118,500.
Our sincere thanks go to everyone who has helped or contributed in any way at all to the fundraising and promotion of our activities.
Chairman Kevin Nicholas said he and Alexandra were overwhelmed by the support shown to them over the most difficult of times and is astounded by the incredible totals raised in Beverley’s honour.
“We knew we had achieved the £100,000 goal which was driven by Beverley, but when we realised the final result it was totally and utterly breathtaking.
“People are so kind. Through all our troubles this restores any faith anyone may have lost in humanity. There are plenty of good people in the world and we must never forget that when we are bombarded with bad news.”
Our Pink initiatives will continue going forward, with Alexandra taking the reins to carry on her Mum’s legacy.
This week brings the last home game of a very difficult, testing and often frustrating season.
Of course we will honour Archie Bruce, a fantastic young man who tragically passed away on our recent trip to Toulouse.
A minute’s tribute will be held before Kick-Off, and our players and officials will be wearing black armbands as a mark of respect.
Anyone wearing the Archie Bruce shirt, available from Dewsbury Moor ARLFC or Ravensport, will gain admission at a reduced cost of £10 through a dedicated turnstile, at the Paul Harrison Entrance, seen as you approach the stadium down Heritage Road.
We will have live pre and post match entertainment behind the Driver Hire Glen Tomlinson Stand.
Local Junior sides will take part in pre-match curtain raisers, The Fox’s Biscuits Fanzone and ur Community Team will be providing junior activities
As a small thank you and offer to our season ticket holders, they can look out for an email offering the chance to bring a friend also for reduced admission of £10, again only through this same dedicated turnstile.
The RFL Benevolent Fund have created a Just Giving Page aimed at leaving a lasting legacy in the name of Archie Bruce who passed away this morning at just 20 years of age.
Archie has been training with The Bulldogs for the 2019 season with a view to the 2020 campaign. Due to his energy and enthusiasm head coach Matt Diskin handed him a first professional outing, against Toulouse Olympique, yesterday evening. Playing the final 30 minutes of the game he made a great impact with darting runs, and his excitement was clear for all to see post match.
A smart, polite, funny and extremely liekable young man, his death is an absolute tragedy. Arhcie’s family have requested privacy at this difficult time and our thoughts and prayers are with them.
The RFL Benevolent Fund provides relief for people who have been injured whilst playing or training for rugby football league.
Matt Diskin’s men secured a vital win at struggling Rochdale Hornets, after going behind in a nervous opening quarter. Two Tries each for Louis Jouffret and Jack Broadbent were trumped by a Hat Trick for Wayne Reittie, on his 150th appearance for The Bulldogs. James Brown and Paul Brearley added a Try each.
Highlights to follow.
A nailbiting tie at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium ended in a draw as the visitors came from behind late on.
A fabulous individual Try from Jack Broadbent, who then set up Jouffret for a second, put Batley in front before The Knights twice hit back.
A Connor Robinson penalty after the final hooter could have sealed a York win but the ambitious effort fell wide and The Bulldogs claimed a well deserved point.
Highlight to follow
The Bulldogs crashed to defeat at Swinton Lions despite having come from behind to hold an 18-8 lead going into the final quarter.
Highlights to follow.
Matt Diskin’s Batley side secured their place in Round 3 of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup with a 38-18 victory over Rochdale Hornets in a scrappy affair at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.
An outstanding performance from Matt Diskin’s Batley side saw them take the spoils in a tense encounter at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.
A double from Keenen Tomlinson along with tries from Lewis Galbraith and Adam Gledhill, coupled with a superb defensive display gave The Bulldgs a crucial win.
Details to follow
An determined Bulldogs side ran out 30-14 victors over Dewsbury Rams at The Summer Bash in Blackpool.
After taking an early 10 point lead through Keenen Tomlinson & Johnny Camplbell, Matt Diskin’s side had to show patience and some resolute defence as Dewsbury pressed for long period. Late tries from Brearley, Leak and Scott, and 5 Jouffret kicks, sealed the win for Batley following an outrageous try saving tackle from Sam Smeaton.
The Rams hit back with two quick tries in the dying minutes of the tie.
Full detials to follow
With no shortage of commitment or effort The Bulldogs went down 16-36 at home to their full time opponents.
Matt Diskin’s side matched the Centurions for long periods of the game, scoring outstanding tries along the way.
Full report to follow.
An incredible team performance from Matt Diskin’s men saw them take the points away at Dewsbury Rams despite playing an hour with 12 men, and a spell with 11 following a Sin Binning on 32 minutes.
After going 8-0 behind and reduced to 11, the visitors hit back through Alistair Leak to go in just 2 points behind at the break.
Outstanding defence throughout the second half meant the hosts wouldn’t add another point and tries from Joe Taira and James Brown gave The Bulldogs a fully deserved victory.
A Dave Scott penalty 6 minutes from time clinched the points in a thrilling encounter at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium, capping an outstanding performance from Matt Diskin’s Bulldogs
Full report to follow.
The Bulldogs ran out 62-6 winners over an impressive Lock Lane side in the Coral Challenge Cup.
Full report to follow.
A spirited Batley performance wasn’t enough to overcome a powerful Toronto Wolfpack team after losing 36 – 12 at the KCOM Stadium.
McDermott’s men were soon to open the scoring on the 5th minute as Matty Russell crossed across the line for the 4 pointer. O’Brien couldn’t convert.
Andrew Dixon extended the lead further, coming from a left and right step to dive in. O’Brien this time made the conversion to see the gap become 10 – 0.
Batley did find a chance to slip through a tough opponents defence though as Dane Manning linked up with a combination move to David Scott for a chasing run from halfway to score at the side of the sticks. Scott placed over the extras. Toronto 10 – 6 Batley.
Four more tries did answer back to the one solo Batley try in the first half seeing, Jack Logan, Ricky Leutele (2) and Matty Russell all scoring. O’Brien couldn’t convert the first two, with Ryan Brierley placing over the last.
The whistle blew signalling half-time as Batley trailed 28 – 6.
Once again minutes back into the game Jon Wilkin for the Wolfpack darted over the line. O’Brien added the extras.
Louis Joufrett scored the final try of the evening, collecting a well placed kick to storm through. David Scott converted with just a few ticks left on clock .
Toronto Wolfpack 34 – 12 Batley Bulldogs
The Bulldogs were unable to turn around a 0-16 Half Time deficit against John Kear’s Bradford Bulls, going down 6-16 in frezing conditions at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium
Match report to follow
The Bulldogs picked up their first win of the campaign, thanks to tries from Lewis Galbraith (2) and Wayne Reittie, in a scrappy encounter against Rochdale Hornets.
Match Report by Luke Winner.
Matt Diskins side recorded their first win in the Betfred Championship as they faced off Rochdale Hornets in a 18 – 12 win
It was a good first showing from the Bulldogs as they marched their way straight up the hill from kick off. Former Hornets player Lewis Galbraith was the first player to score, with some smart play along the edge placing him over in the corner. David Scott didn’t miss the kick.
Lewis Galbraith showed no sign of slowing down soon as he quickly snapped up a brace, seeing the ball being shipped right to left for a stunning finish on the line. David Scott once again converted.
Rochdale did manage to get on the scoresheet before the first half was called with Adam Lawton making his way across following on from a penalty leaked during a breakdown in the middle. Daniel Abram converted.
HALF-TIME sounded and Batley held a lead of 12 – 6 against the Hornets.
Batley extended their lead further in the second half ensuring that the hosts needed at least one try and two conversions to make the scores level. David Scott added the penalty goal from in front.
Diskins men were soon to add more points on their tally as Dominic Brambani placed a kick near the corner that had seen Alistair Leak being the quickest to the ball, passing out to Sam Wood who created the overlap for Wayne Reittie to race over. David Scott couldn’t convert.
Rochdale had the last say during the second half, with a quick succession of sets placing them in great field position. Lee Mitchell was the player score for the visitors. Daniel Abram converted.
FULL-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 18 – 12 Rochdale Hornets
Batley Xlll – David Scott, Wayne Reittie, Sam Wood, Sam Smeaton, Lewis Galbraith, Danny Yates, Dominic Brambani, Adam Gledhill, Alistair Leak, Tony Everett, Dane Manning, Jack Downs and James Brown.
Interchange – Tom Hemmingway, Joe Taira, Tom Lilleycrop and Lewis Bienek
Rochdale Xlll – Daniel Abram, Shaun Ainscough, Shaun Case, Patrick Flynn, Brandon Wood, Tyler Whittaker, Stuart Howarth, Carl Forester, Scott Moore, Sitaleki Akoula, Michael Wheldon, Lee Mitchel and Matthew Davis.
Interchange – Patrick Moran, Adam Lawton, Liam Carberry, Ellis Gillam.
A much improved performace from The Bulldogs saw them come back to within 2 points of a very strong Halifax side despite trailing 0-18 at Half-Time.
Matt Diskin’s side were finishing the stronger of the two but couldn’t grab the crucial score before the hooter sounded.
Final Score: Halifax 20-18 Bulldogs
Match highlights below.
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
A fantastic effort from The Bulldogs ends in narrow defeat to John Kear’s full-time Bradford Bulls, in the K2 Yorkshire Cup Final.
Match report to follow
The Bulldogs secured a place in the K2 Yorkshire Cup Final, coming from 0-18 behind, in a pulsating tie against a superb York City Knights.
As with all the Yorkshire Cup ties so far, the game looked nothing like a friendly as both sides gave everything with the home side grabbing the win just minutes from time.
Report to follow.
The inaugural Yorkshire Cup has so far been a huge success with combined attendance of almost 5000 for the two double headers last weekend.
The Knights secured their place in the semi-final with victory over Hunslet Club Parkside 34-4 last weekend, whilst The Bulldogs overcame Hunslet RLFC with a 36-0 victory, and will now face York City Knights at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium on Sunday 13th January. Kick Off 2pm.
ADVANCE TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE UNTIL MIDNIGHT SATURDAY
ADULTS £13, CONCESSIONS £8
GATE ADMISSION ON THE DAY
£15 ADULTS, £10 CONCESSIONS.
JUNIORS GO FREE!!
Bulldogs’ Head Coach Matt Diskin was pleased with this side’s performace at Odsal Stadium in the opening Yorkshire Cup fixture, and is looking forward to a difficult tie this Sunday.
“I was really happy with our shape against Hunslet, We defended well against a quality attack and to keep a score to zero against any opposition is impressive. With the ball I thought we played some great rugby.
We were fast and created lot of problems for Hunslet. We still have work to do for the start of the league campaign, but things are coming together and the progress so far is very good.”
“York will present us with different challenges and this is sure to be a tough and exciting game. It’s one we’re really looking forward to.”
Batley Bulldogs moved into the K2 Yorkshire Cup Semi-Finals with a hard fought victory over Hunslet, in a tough game at Odsal Stadium.
Both sides were reduced to 12 men early on as Richard Moore (Hunslet) Joe Taira (Batley) were shown red cards for violent conduct after an off the ball clash. The opening quarter was tight with Hunslet having much of the ball but beung unable to break down a resolute Batley defence.
Sam Wood opened the scoring for The Bulldogs after a smart interchange, James Brown charged over from short range soon after before Wood added his secon of the day. Louis Jouffret and Adam Gledhill added further scores, with Scott converting 2 to give Matt Diskin’s men a 26-0 half time lead.
The second half was a close affair with defences on top until a rampaging break from trialist Paul Brearley extended the lead and within minutes the impressive Keenen Tomlinson completed the try scoring in the corner, Dave Scott added a magnificent conversion and The Bulldogs sealed a 36-0 win.
Batley will now face York City Knights at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium in the Semi-Finals on Sunday 13th January, 2pm.
Today’s other victors, Bradford Bulls will entertain Dewsbury Rams at Odsal, Saturday 12th January at 5.30pm
The remaining clubs will play a double header at the LD Nutrition Stadium, Featherstone on Saturday with Rovers taking on Hunslet Parkside at 1pm, and Halifax v Hunslet at 3pm
We are pleased to confirm that season tickets are now on sale and the prices are:
A big thank you to sponsors of our season tickets FRANKIE’S who have enabled us to continue to offer our new Kids tickets free.
Also season ticket holders can present their ticket at FRANKIE’S and receive a 10% discount on their bill so that’s great news for everybody.
We have now installed our new online ticketing system to access through our website which enables supporters to purchase season tickets on line whilst sat at home and we will arrange delivery to your home address. The new tickets are credit card style, which easily fit in your wallet or purse or pocket, and are scanned on the turnstiles at each game. Alternatively you can still buy the tickets at the Club.
The season ticket covers admission to all our 13 home Championship games and allows the purchase of a half price ticket to the Summer Bash. It represents excellent value for money as the cost is equivalent of 9/10 game admissions.
Season Tickets are now available online at https://bulldogs.mysportstickets.co.uk/
Please note, if you are ordering Junior tickets only, and for click and collect, there is no fee to pay. You will be asked to enter card details for verification, however, no charges will be made to your card.
ADMISSION PRICES 2019
Online Discounted Advance Prices (not available on match days)
Tuesdays at Club 9am – 12pm
Clearly we are moving towards no cash on match days and use of our online facility to obtain a discount on advance purchases which we expect to trial in our friendlies to be ready for our first home game v Barrow on 3rd February.
Tickets can be printed to present on the turnstiles to be scanned or can be downloaded and scanned from your phones.
We are also making provision for those with no ready access to computers to still purchase a discounted ticket in advance at our Breakfast Club each Tuesday although we do not have staff to sell discounted advance tickets at other times.
The online advance discounted ticket includes a 20p booking fee.
Finally, we appreciate the prices represent a small increase from 2018 but it has been a number of years since our last price increase and we believe with all our escalating costs these are fair prices representing good value in what promises to be an exciting 2019 season.
Thank you for your support!
Don’t forget, thanks to our fabulous sponsorship from Frankie’s, Season Ticket holders can claim a 10% discount at their Restaurant on Bradford Road, Batley
Hugely popular Bulldogs’ star Alex Bretherton has committed yet another year to the club, signing a playing contract for 2019. Since joining Batley in 2011 Breth has made 196 appearances, scoring 47 Tries, and 1 goal!
A key part of the squad throughout his time with The Bulldogs, he has shown great versatility playing in a number of positions when called upon, and was instrumental in both the run to the 2013 Grand Final and qualification for the Super 8 Qualifiers, 2016.
Coach Diskin is delighted to have Alex back on board for another season “Breth brings a massive presence in the squad. His attitude is first class and his experience & flexibility are invaluable to us. We’re thrilled to have him with us again in the coming season”
Matt Diskin’s side finished their season on a high with a stylish win against a tough Swinton Lions team, as their explosive passing proved far too much in the end.
Prop Adam Gledhill was the first Bulldog to force himself across the try line, that came from Swinton leaking too much field position with penalties setting up a perfect chance to get over. Dave Scott laced up his boots once more this season, converting successfully.
On the 15th minute Stuart Littler’s side did find themselves on the score sheet, as Aaron Hall swooped down through a small gap opening in the Bulldogs defence. Jack Hanson converted for the visitors.
Sam Smeaton scored the final try in the first half completing a successful move by Louis Joufrett who placed a beautiful pin pointed kick. Walker slotted over the conversion.
HALF-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 12 – 6 Swinton Lions
No mercy was shown in the remaining 40 minutes as the score line became highly in the favour of the hosts. Quick hands by Dominic Brambani allowed him to setup Wayne Reittie on the wing. Walker couldn’t convert.
Dave Scott was next on the scoreboard with a stunning length of the field Try. Jouffret collected a kick in his own in goal, weaved through the oncoming Swinton defence and sent Scott racing clear from just inside the Bulldogs half. Walker converted.
Louis Joufrett sliced through the opposing teams line twice on the bounce, as his weaving in and out broke down their defence too quickly for them to handle. Walker converted both.
The last try of the season for the Bulldogs came through Dominic Brambani taking a support pass from Wayne Reittie to complete a fantastic day at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium. Alex Rowe bowed out with a kick from in front, seeing the hosts finish on a six-match winning streak.
FULL-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 40 – 6 Swinton Lions
Batley Xlll – Dave Scott, Wayne Reittie, Sam Smeaton, Lewis Galbraith, Johnny Campbell, Louis Joufrett, Dominic Brambani, Adam Gledhill, Alistair Leak, Alex Rowe, Brad Day, Alex bretherton and James Brown.
Interchange – Patrick Walker, James Davey, Keenen Tomlinson and Michael Ward.
Swinton Xlll – Elliot Cane, Michael Butt, Rhodri Lloyd, Andrew Thornley, Ryan Gray, Robert Fairclough, Jack Hansen, Aaron Hall, Luke Waterworth, Ben Austin, Chris Worrall, Kyle Shelford and Hayden Hanson.
Interchange – Patrick Jones, Thomas Gallagher, Brad Billsborough and Joshua Ganson.
Matt Diskin’s men produced a fabulous performance to overcome full time opponents Leigh Centurions at the Leigh Sports Village.
After racing into an 8 point lead with tries from the ever impressive Lewis Galbraith and Johnny Campbell they found themselves on the wrong side of a 10-8 scoreline at halftime after the home side rallied. Dave Scott levelled the scores with a penalty just after the break before a Ben Reynolds Try put the hosts back in front.
From then on The Bulldogs regained control and some scintillating rugby saw Dave Scott dive over to level the scores, Johnny Campbell grabbed his second from a perfect Jouffret kick after a brilliant break from Brambani, and Frenchman Jouffret put the seal on the win with a stunning individual try.
Coach Diskin was thrilled with the performance. “I thought today from 1 to 17 we were magnificent. We dominated a very string Leigh side for the majority of the game. The pack was outstanding and some of the play from our backs a pleasure to watch”
The Bulldogs will look to finish the 2018 campaign wth 6 straight wins this coming Sunday when Swinton Lions are the visitors to the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium, 3pm Kick Off.
With still a few small amounts to come, we are able to confirm this year’s Pink Weekend, raising funds for cancer charities, has surpassed a record £20100. This takes the total raised by Batley Bulldogs supporters and friends over five years to beyond an absolutely incredible £71000.
The initiative is the project of Beverley Nicholas, wife of Bulldogs’ Chairman Kevin, with the first events taking place in 2014. Since then we’ve had sponsored walks, player calendars, family fun days, afternoon tea and of course the infamous Ducking Stool! The team have played one game each of the five seasons in a specially designed Pink Kit which has then been auctioned to raise further monies.
Beverley is understandably thrilled with the latest acheivements
“Well what can I say? Apart from the fact that we have the most amazing fans in Rugby League, How can I say that, easy!
“There is no Ruby League club that we know of that has raised such an amount in just 5 years.
Yes they have fund raising days raising money for various charities which is great but we have continued to hold our Pink Weekend each year and each year it just gets better and better and I call it Our Pink Weekend because it is thanks to everyone at our Club who have been involved by sponsoring, donating, walking, cake making and cake eating, gin drinking, being dunked and generally supporting such a great cause.
All these companies agreed for their logos on the Pink kits without hesitation and a big Thank You to them all.
As I have said previously, Morley Waste Traders have sponsored the kit for the past 5 years and again their generosity is wonderful. All the Pink kits were again ordered before the kick off and orders for next years kits are already going well, so don’t be left out.
A list of walkers for next year’s march to Wembley has already started too, so again get in touch if you’re interested in joining us.
To commemorate the success so far a gallery of the Pink Shirts is now on view in the Bulldogs Bar, waiting to be added to in 2019!
Match Report by Luke Winner.
Batley welcomed Sheffield Eagles to the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium in what was a fiery display from the hosts claiming a well earned 44 – 4 victory.
It was a rapid-fire performance by Diskin’s side as Dominic Brambani opened the scoring against his previous club, Sam Smeaton following on later after fluent passing from left to right. Dave Scott took on the kick role, converting both beautifully.
Louis Joufrett who recently penned a deal seeing him a Bulldog for next season, caused havoc for the opponents with his pin point kicks forcing an incredible amount of pressure against the visitors. Lewis Galbraith grabbed Batley’s third try of the afternoon after storming across the line. Scott managed to add the extras.
HALF-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 18 : 0 Sheffield Eagles
The second-half saw Johnny Campbell collect a stunning interception to run the full length leaving every player behind in the dust. Brad Day added more to what was becoming an impressive tally after collecting a brilliant Brambani kick to the corner. Scott converted one out of the two.
Speedster Johnny Campbell scored again thanks to some wild passing that set him up for a perfect dive in between the opponents defence. Scott couldn’t convert.
Sheffield finally crossed the whitewash, coming on from a fast shipment of passing right to left with Illias Macani stretching out. Thomas couldn’t convert.
Johnny Campbell completed an outstanding hat-trick with an assist by Lewis Galbraith creating the overlap. Only a few minutes passed till James Brown bashed his way through onto the try line on his 100th appearance for the club. Scott converted both.
FULL-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 44 – 4 Sheffield Eagles.
Next up for Matt Diskin’s men is Leigh Centurions away, where they will look to keep their momentum going.
Batley Xlll – David Scott, Wayne Reittie, Sam Smeaton, Lewis Galbraith, Johnny Campbell, Louis Joufrett, Dominic Brambani, Adam Gledhill, James Davey, James Harrison, Brad Day, Dane Manning and Alex Rowe.
Interchanges – Patrick Walker, Keenen Tomlinsion, James Brown and Michael Ward.
Sheffield Xlll – Oscar Thomas, Illes Macani, Menzie Yere, Joshua Toole, Ben Blackmoore, Simon Brown, Cory Aston, Shaun Pick, Gregory Burns, Johnathon Magrin, Matthew James, Oliver Davies and Matthew Fozard.
Interchanges – Patrick Burns, Blake Broadbent, Michael Weldon and Maxine Garcia
It was another nail biter at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium, as the Bulldogs managed to just power past visitors Rochdale Hornets in the final closing minutes winning 26 – 12
Alex Rowe was the first to put his name on the score-sheet following on from a storming run across the line. Scott was on the kicking duties, converting successfully.
Louis Joufrett setup a beautiful pin pointed kick for Johnny Campbell to finish the move off in the corner. Dave Scott couldn’t convert this time.
What looked like a healthy lead before half-time for Diskin’s men, saw Rochdale hit back hard. The hornets pressure grew amongst the hosts defence, seeing plenty of penalties gaining them great yards. Jack Fox took advantage to squeeze through a gap and score. Whittaker couldn’t convert as the first half came to a close.
HALF-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 10 – 4 Rochdale Hornets.
The visitors came out all guns flaring, ramping up their points in spectacular fashion. Declan Cross brought the hornets closer into the game going over twice placing them in the lead for the first time. Whittaker struggled to convert both.
Rochdale had looked to have taken full control of how the game flowed with almost everything looking in their favour. However, thanks to a spirited Adam Gledhill who burst through an almost compact opposition defensive line the tables began to turn. Walker didn’t miss the conversion.
A final two tries came for the Bulldogs, with the first one being created by a James Brown kick to the corner for Wayne Reittie and Sam Smeaton following later on from some brilliant ball play along the wing. Walker converted one out of the two.
FULL-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 26 – 12 Rochdale Hornets
Batley Xlll – Dave Scott, Wayne Reittie, Sam Smeaton, Lewis Galbraith, Johnny Campbell, Louis Joufrett, Dominic Brambani, Adam Gledhill, AlistairLeak, Alex Rowe, Dane Manning, Keenen Tomlinson and Joel Farrell.
Interchange – Patrick Walker, Alex Bretherton, James Brown and Michael Ward.
Rochdale Xlll – Richard Lepori, Deon Cross, Tobias Adamson, Setareki Talatoka, Jack Fox, Tyler Whittaker, Daniel Yates, Lewis Hatton, Ben Moores, Patrick Moran, Lee Mitchell, Luke Adamson and William Brickhill.
Interchange – Morgan Smith, Jovilisi Tairia, Joesph Ryan and Ryan Millington.
Exciting young half-back Louis Jouffret will remain a Bulldog for the 2019 season.
Louis arrived at the club in late July. With a man of the match performance on his home debut against Swinton Lions, in the final game of the regular season, a hand in a number of tries in the games since and a showstopping display away at Barrow last Sunday, he is quickly becoming a crowd favourite.
The signing has been made thanks to the support of BISSA, the Batley Independent Supporters’ Squadbuilder Association. BISSA Chairman Colin Bottomley told us “BISSA are delighted to have been able to support the club in retaining Louis Jouffret for next season. Once again our members, through their valuable contributions, have been instrumental in helping the club formulate this deal”
Having played his youth Rugby League with Avignon and Barbentane, Louis then moved to the Warrington U19 Academy. He returned to France to play in the French Elite with the Catalans’ reserve team before a spell at Whitehaven in Championship in 2015.
After this he was back in Perpignan for 2 French Elite seasons, and had a spell with Toulouse in the Championship last season. In addition he has international honours, having represented France at U16 and U19 levels.
Louis himself is thrilled to be staying with the club “I’m very happy here at Batley and am looking forward to a full season with the squad. I’d like to thank the supporters and everyone at the club for the warm welcome I have had and BISSA and their members for making the move possible.”
Head Coach Matt Diskin is also delighted to get his man “We’re building well looking towards next season. Louis is a great signing for us, he’s already a key member of the squad and we’re thrilled to have him on board for 2019”
Anyone wishing to join the BISSA cause can visit www.BISSA .co.uk or contact any committee member, on Matchdays you will find the BISSA stall beside the Bulldog Bar, visit them for some fantastic merchandise, to find out more or just for a chat!
A Johnny Campbell hat-trick, a brace from Brad Day and a commanding display from the half-backs set the seal on a superb team performance at Barrow.
The Raiders did take an early lead with a score in the corner before Johnny Campbell hit straight back, finishing a fine move also in the corner. Soon after Batley took the lead as Campbell went over for his second as Jouffret & Galbraith combined straight from a scrum. Brambani was next on the scoresheet as he collected his own kick to score close to the posts, Dave Scott added the extras.
Barrow were struggling to contain a powerful Bulldogs’ pack and just before the break Brad Day charged onto a perfectly timed short ball from Jouffret to finish a fine first half performance, Scott made it 20-6 at Half-Time.
The hosts hit back early in the second period with Dalliemore taking a number of defenders over the line with him in a strong finish. Lifted by the quick score Barrow had their strongest period of the game but the Bulldogs’ defence held strong before Dave Scott finished after a break down the right by Jouffret. Scott converted his own try and his side were back in control. Soon after Campbell raced onto a fine Jouffret kick to complete a well deserved hat-trick. Brad Day added his second with Walker converting to complete the Bulldogs’ scoring before the Raiders crossed late on.
A great all round performance from 1 to 17 against an opponent who have proven very difficult for many sides this season, particularly on their own patch.
Final Score Barrow Raiders 16 – 36 Batley Bulldogs
Match Report by Luke Winner.
It was a spectacular day at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium as the Bulldogs collected their first ever win on a pink weekend, over close neighbours Dewsbury Rams.
Dave Scott had to put his kicking boot back on once more as the Bulldogs opted for the 2 points converting a penalty goal, bringing the scores level.
The second half was a stunning performance from the hosts keeping the visitors on a clean sheet, whilst they ramped up the points. Two tries appeared within a matter of minutes of each other with James Harrison going first and Wayne Reittie not so long after. Walker took the kicking, converting both.
Neil Kelly’s team dug as deep as they could in an attempt to place themselves in the game. All of their efforts came in vain though seeing the Bulldogs having none of it, running another three tries to the line. Dane Manning, Wayne Reittie and ‘Super’ Brad Day added to an already impressive tally on the score sheet, after some fast fluent ball play proved too much in the end for the visitors. Walker slotted over all three conversions.
Overall it was an impressive performance from Diskins men who claimed a 42 – 22 win and gained back the bragging rights!
Great news ahead of tomorrow’s Heavy Woollen Derby against neighbours Dewsbury Rams, as hugely popular hooker Alistair Leak commits another year to The Bulldogs.
A 100% attitude, weaving runs and tough defence soon made “Leaky” a huge crowd favourite at Batley & though primarily playing in the hooking position he has also featured at half-back when called upon.
With 109 appearances and 36 tries for the club he is a vital member of the squad, and we’re delighted to see him stay at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium for 2019.
Matt Diskin’s men picked up a much needed victory in the final fixture of the regular season at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.
In a stop start match the home side were well in control by half time with tries from Brad Day, James Harrison, Jason Crookes and the returning Wayne Reittie, all converted by Dave Scott. Swinton’s only reply was an early penalty goal giving The Bulldogs a 24-2 half time lead.
The second period continued much the same with impressive home debutant Louis Jouffret sending James Harrison barging through the Lions’ defence for his second of the day within minutes of the restart. Dave Scott and Johnny Campbell added further scores for Batley until a scrappy final 15 minutes saw 3 players sent to the bin and the visitors were able to take advantage of an 11 man home side to narrow the margin.
Final Score: Bulldogs 40-18 Lions
Matt Diskin’s men met Danny Ward’s side in a thrilling contest in intense weather conditions. Batley stunned an experienced Broncos team in the first half, however it wasn’t meant to be as the fight back from the visitors proved too much for a still injury hit Batley group.
The hosts certainly gathered all their energy in the first half, placing constant pressure on the opponent’s line claiming two well earned goal line drop outs on the bounce. Sam Smeaton gained Batley the lead early on in the game after he capitalised on mountains of built up pressure, speeding his way over the line. Walker slotted over the conversion.
Despite what was an impressive start from the Bulldogs, London ran two hard paced tries down on their wings with Api Pewhairangi and Rhys Williams going across. Dixon converted both.
Patrick Walkers kicking proved vital once more as a stunning kick challenged the Broncos fullback seeing it bounce off of the posts to then slide through his palms into the hands of James Davey who touched down. Walker converted; seeing both teams head into the sheds even stevens.
HALF-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 12 – 12 London Broncos
The second-half didn’t get better for Batley as the Broncos stampeded their way through showing their full-time fitness. It wasn’t long before they re-opened their scoring as Matt Gee crashed his way through the Bulldogs defensive line unable to stop him. Dixon converted.
London’s scoring didn’t end there as they burst their way through for a further four more tries all coming from a rapid shipment of passes. Jay Pitts, Kieran Dixon, Tom Spencer and Rhys Williams barged over after taking swift advantage on the breaks made leaving the Batley defenders behind. Dixon converted three out of the four.
Lewis Galbraith grabbed the final say at a scorching Fox’s Biscuits Stadium, collecting the ball from right to left touching down in the far corner. Walker couldn’t convert.
The full-time score doesn’t quite tell the story of a valiant effort by the Bulldogs to hold off high flyers London Broncos.
FULL-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 16 – 38 London Broncos.
Batley Xlll – Dave Scott, Keenen Tomlinson, Sam Smeaton, Lewis Galbraith, Jason Crookes, Patch Walker, Tom Hemingway, Adam Gledhill, Alistair Leak, Tom Lilleycrop, Dane Manning, Brad Day and Joel Farrell.
Interchanges – James Harrison, James Brown, James Davey and Alex Bretherton.
London Xlll – Alex Walker, Kieran Dixon, Michael Channing, Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams, Api Pewhairangi, James Cunningham, Edward Battye, Jarrod Sammut, Ben Evans, Jay Pitts, Dan Hindmarsh-Takyi and Matthew Davis.
Interchanges – Mark Loane, Matthew Gee, Spencer Thomas and Matthew Davies.
Match report by Luke Winner.
It was a strong first half for the hosts, who made sure that Batley knew they were in their territory. In the opening minutes Shaun Grady went over following through from a penalty after the Bulldogs were deemed offside. Will Sharp also added more to their tally on the scoresheet after collecting a swooping pass from Woodburn hall to finish in the corner. Tyrer converted one out of the two.
Tom Hemmingway who made his re-apperance for Batley due to missing the last few games from injury, caused a ruckus amongst the Halifax line gaining a well-earned goal line drop out after pinning the kick in the in-goal area and with a chase to follow it up. James Brown soon crashed his way over from close range as the tension eventually burst with Diskin’s men scoring for the first time in the game. Dave Scott slotted over the conversion.
Before half-time was called, Chester Butler had broken down the Batley defence catching Brandon Moore on support on the right wing and James Woodburn-hall also going over on the left-hand side. Tyrer put over both conversions as half-time beckoned.
Halifax 20 – 6 Batley Bulldogs
The second half didn’t get any better for a struggling Bulldogs team, seeing Halifax take full control of the game at certain moments. Brandon Moore started the game off with a bang, sweeping up a Saltonstall chip to score. Tyrer converted.
Batley’s hard efforts from forcing pressure did show in the end though as Adam Gledhill had stormed his way through a deposited opposition line after taking in the ball feed from Reiss Butterworth. Dave Scott once again converted.
James Saltonstall and Ed Butler quietened the Batley attempts racing over, deepening the score line even more. Adam Tangata almost had looked to gained a try for himself after weaving through two defenders, however offloaded on the last to Ben Johnston. Tyrer converted all three.
Elliot Morris finished off what had been a hard game at the MBI Shay Stadium, catching a fiery pass by Ed Barber. Tyrer put over the conversion, ending a miserable day for the Bulldogs.
FULL-TIME: Halifax 50 – 12 Batley Bulldogs
Attendance – 1,561
Halifax Xlll – James Woodburn=hall, James Saltonstall, Steve Tyrer, Ben Heaton, Will Sharp, Scott Murrell, Ben Johnston, Dan Fleming, Ben Kaye, Jacob Fairbank, Chester Butler, Shane Grady and Simon Grix.
Interchange – Elliot Morris, Brandon Moore, Adan Tangata and Ed Barber.
Batley Xlll – Keenen Tomlinson, Sam Smeaton, Alex Bretherton, Lewis Galbraith, Jason Crookes, David Scott, James Davey, Adam Gledhill, Thomas Hemingway, Michael Ward, Dane Manning, Joel Farrell and Bradley Day.
Interchange – James Harrison, Alex Rowe, James Brown and Reiss Butterworth.
A fantastic day at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium ended in defeat for The Bulldogs, going down 20-38 in a tough physical encounter in front of a crowd of 2328
Golden Gamble 19667. Full report to follow.
A flying start from the visitors proved the difference in a thrilling game at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium. Halifax raced into a 22-0 lead thanks to tries from Butler, Saltonstall, Johnston and Heaton before Joel Farrell struck back for the home side on the stroke of half time.
Farrell again scored early in the second half before Heaton registered his second for the visitors. Smart movement from The Bulldogs sent James Harrison over close to the posts to narrow the margin once again but as Matt Diskin’s men pushed to find the next crucial score in a spirited fightback, Stephen Tyrer capped a fine performance for Halifax to put them beyond the reach of injury hit Batley.
No shortage of effort from The Bulldogs who showed great determination but a poor opening quarter proved too much in the end.
FULL-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 22 – 32 Halifax RLFC
Attendance – 1,002
Batley Xlll – Izaac Farrell, Dave Scott, Sam Smeaton, Lewis Galbraith, Jason Crookes, Patch Walker,
Daniel Sowerby, Adam Gledhill, Alistair Leak, Tommy Holland, James Harrison, Joel Farrell and Brad
Interchanges – Michael Ward, Alex Rowe, Reiss Butterworth and Alex Bretherton.
Halifax Xlll – James Woodburn-Hall, James Saltonstall, Stephen Tyrer, Edward Barber, Ben Heaton,
Scott Murrell, Ben Johnston, Dan Fleming, Ben Kaye, Elliot Morris, Chester Butler, Shane Grady and
Interchanges – Brandon Moore, Adam Tangata, James Green and Will Maher.
Match Report by Luke Winner.
Batley made the journey to Blackpool this weekend facing neighbours Dewsbury Rams in what was a thrilling SummerBash contest, with Diskin’s side losing closely 20 – 18.
The SummerBash, started off brilliant with both teams showing off their skill. Dewsbury scored early doors within the game, after some slick passing from the opponents saw Aaron Brown crashing over. Sykes converted.
Diskin’s men, needed to respond quickly against Neil Kelly’s side who were forcing Batley to make errors along their line. Michael Ward took on the Dewsbury line towards the end of their last set, to then pass out near completion of the tackle sending James Harrison over. Izaac Farrell converted.
Following the Bulldogs try, Dewsbury became rattled struggling to keep their composure making themselves vulnerable. Batley managed to gain two goal line drop outs on the bounce, with Reiss Butterworths cheeky grubber kick claiming the second.
Butterworth then danced his way through a compact Rams defence to touch down, Farrell converted.
HALF-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 12 – 6 Dewsbury Rams
The second half got underway with a bang as Sam Day stretched out, just reaching across the Batley line. Sykes added the extras; meaning the scores aligned.
Forward Michael Ward was back at his powering tactics, busting through a firm Ram wall gaining what was essential yards. Reiss Butterworth once again was involved in the play, from sending out a swooping pass to Izaac Farrell to then Joel Farrell, who skipped across easily into the left corner. Farrell couldn’t convert.
The neighbours showed their flare as Daniel Igbinedon, broke down the Bulldogs defensive line to stroll through a small gap and score. Sykes converted.
Izaac Farrell converted a penalty goal, bringing the scores even once more. Towards the end the game it soon became tit for tat, with both teams earning even yards.
Sykes’ sealed the win for the rivals after successfully converting a penalty goal from in front of the sticks as only minutes remained.
FULL-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 18 – 20 Dewsbury Rams.
Batley Xlll – David Scott, Keenan Tomlinson, Sam Smeaton, Lewis Galbraith, Jason Crookes, Daniel Sowerby, Izaac Farrell, Adam Gledhill, Alistair Leak, Alex Rowe, Alex Bretherton, Joel Farrell and Bradley Day.
Interchanges – Reiss Butterworth, Tommy Holland, Michael Ward and James Harrison.
Dewsbury Xlll – Josh Gudzek, Gareth Potts, James Glover, Macualey Hallett, Dale Morton, Paul Sykes, Aaron Brown, Shannon Wakeman, Dominic Speakman, Jack Teanby, Kyle Trout, Michael Ward and Jordan Crowther.
Interchanges – Samuel Day, Martyn Reilly, Toby Everett and Daniel Igbinedion.
Match Report by Luke Winner.
Rochdale visited the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium looking for revenge. However, the Bulldogs proved too much for a young Hornets side once again, defeating them 23 – 14.
5 minutes into the first half, Declan Kay sent out a long cut-out-ball pass to Robert Massam to start their tally on the score sheet. Whittaker couldn’t convert.
Dominic Brambani managed to break down the opposing defence quickly, weaving himself around various defenders to stamp over the line. Walker converted.
What was a great start from the Hornets was soon put to the test by Diskin’s men. Alex Rowe bulldozed his way through a tough oppositions line, drawing in the full back to put a supporting James Harrison over. Walker converted.
Rochdale pushed Batley to their limits, forcing Joel Farrell to knock the ball forward. Daniel Yates gathered the ball straight away keeping the game alive sending Robert Massam to run the full length and pass out to his support Deon Cross. Whittaker converted.
Alex Bretherton followed in similar fashion to Brambani seconds earlier, moving left to right diving over the line. Walker converted
HALF-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 18 – 10 Rochdale Hornets
The second half didn’t see many more tries occur, however it did see some great ferocious, speeding ball play along the line. Izaac Farrell, Dominic Brambani and Patrick Walker caused issues with their fast-paced decisions, reaffirming pressure on the visitors.
Isaac Farrell claimed his first try at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium, after coming out of dummy half to speed across on the left-hand side. Walker struggled to make the conversion.
As Batley looked to secure the double over Rochdale, Izaac Farrell laced his boots up once more adding a well-placed drop goal.
Kilshaw’s men didn’t go down easy though, as winger Robert Massam went over following some great work down the line. Whittaker converted.
Despite what was a late comeback from the Hornets, Batley managed to hold on successfully claiming the double.
FULL-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 23 – 14 Rochdale Hornets.
Batley Xlll – Dave Scott, Shaun Ainscough, Danny Cowling, Lewis Galbraith, Jason Crookes, Izaac Farrell, Dominic Brambani, Adam Gledhill, James Davey, Alex Rowe, James Harrison, Joel Farrell and Patch Walker.
Interchanges – Michael Ward, Sam Smeaton, Alex Bretherton and Joe Chandler.
Rochdale Xlll – Declan Kay, Richard Lepori, Earl Hurst, Deon Cross, Robert Massam, Tyler Whittaker, Daniel Yates, Patrick Moran, William Brickhill, Lewis Hatton, Setareki Talatoka, Lee Mitchell and David Allen.
Interchanges – Jonah Cunningham, Jordan Syme, Matthew Hadden and Alex Gaskell.
Match Report by Luke Winner.
Matt Diskin’s men got the double header underway at the Rochdale Hornets, Crown Oil Arena, winning 48-10 with a rematch soon to follow next week at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.
Batley’s start to the game wasn’t the prettiest, with the hosts making ground into the visitors’ half quickly. It didn’t take long for the Hornets to place themselves on the scoresheet as Declan Kay collected the ball from some fast passing to send him over. Whittaker failed to convert.
10 minutes in and Batley shook up the hosts by responding, as they began to take full control of how the game flowed. Alex Rowe came close to the line, after causing a ruckus among the oppositions line but was deemed to be held up. Fellow prop Michael Ward, rammed his way through from close range moments later taking multiple defenders across with him. Walker added the extras.
Rochdale couldn’t seem to cope with what was a rampant Bulldogs pack, leading their way to the score line. A quick play the ball from Joel Farrell enabled Patrick Walker to go down on the short side and pass to Crookes who completed with a dive into the corner. Walker converted.
Brad Day and former Hornets player Lewis Galbraith increased the score, just before half time after slicing through their hosts defence. Walker managed to keep his 100% record, converting both.
HALF-TIME: Rochdale Hornets 4 – 24 Batley Bulldogs.
Unfortunately for Rochdale, things were only going to get worse, despite Galbraith being sinbinned early into the second half for backchat to referee Stavely. Shaun Ainscough ran 50m after intercepting a wide pass by the Hornets who attempted to keep the game alive. Walker converted.
Izaac Farrell made his re-appearance after missing last week’s game, dancing left to right scoring from close range. Walker slotted the ball over again.
Alan Kilshaw’s side showed a glimpse of their skill, breaking down the Bulldogs defence slowly, for Declan Kay to reach over and score his second of the day. Whittaker converted.
Jonah Cunningham was sent to the bin for a professional foul due holding down too long on Ainscough in the tackle. Fullback Dave Scott, made the break for the Bulldogs which saw him being tackled just inches from the line. In the next set Izaac Farrell found Adam Gledhill on his shoulder, that sent him bulldozing over. Farrell this time added the extras.
Alex Rowe and Dominic Brambani showcased some brilliant Batley teamwork as Rowe drove the ball forward to fling a pass out to Brambani in support silencing the hosts for the final time. Farrell converted.
FULL-TIME: Rochdale Hornets 10 – 48 Batley Bulldogs
Batley Xlll – Dave Scott, Shaun Ainscough, Daniel Cowling, Lewis Galbraith, Jason Crookes, Patrick Walker, Izaac Farrell, Adam Gledhill, Alistair Leak, Alex Rowe, James Harrison, Joel Farrell and Brad Day.
Interchange – Michael Ward, Sam Smeaton, Dominic Brambani and Joe Chandler.
Rochdale Xlll – Declan Kay, setareki Talatoka, Deon Cross, Jordan Symes, Rob Massam, Tyler Whittaker, Danny Yates, Blake Turner, Jonah Cunningham, Patrick Moran, Lee Mitchell, David Allen and Billy Brickhill.
Interchanges – Morgan Smith, Jovilisi Taira, Matthew Hadden and Luis Johnson.
Match Report by Luke Winner.
Batley Bulldogs made the journey to Barrow Raiders, losing narrowly 20 – 18 in sweltering conditions, which certainly made for ‘Summer Rugby’.
It was an uphill physical battle from the start, with both team’s forward packs colliding trying to make a dint in each other’s defensive line. Jamie Dallimore placed the hosts in the lead early on in the game, collecting a penalty goal from interference in the ball play.
However, David Scott soon got Matt Diskin’s men on the score sheet going over following some quick point to blanks. Walker added the extras.
The game became sloppy from then onwards, with both sides making mistakes in the play. Joe Bullock, crashed his way through a wall of Batley players to make a 60m dash and score. Jamie Dallimore converted.
Even though Diskin’s men headed into the sheds 2 points down, it still wasn’t over as some fashionable rugby was executed by the visitors making for a tastier second half.
HALF-TIME: Barrow Raiders 8 – 6 Batley Bulldogs.
The second half saw Alex Bretherton earning another set deep in the hosts’ territory, which then allowed Dominic Brambani to scoot over the line. Walker added the conversion.
Joe Bullock was proving too much for the Bulldogs again, after sending out a fireball pass to Dean Parata who squeezed through a tight gap to score under the posts. Dalimoore converted.
Alex Bretherton was back at his crunching tactics once more, feeding a speeding ball into the hands of Patch Walker who completed the move quickly. Walker added the extras, to his own try.
Barrow soon came back knocking on Batley’s door, gaining multiple sets truly putting to test what had been formidable defence.
Ryan Johnson, scored the final try of the day; after continuously prodding away at the oppositions line, finally finding a weak point. Dallimore converted; making Barrow Raiders the winners on a scorching day.
FULL-TIME: Barrow Raiders 20 – 18 Batley Bulldogs
Barrow Xlll – Ryan Fieldhouse, Shane Toal, Declan Hulme, Andy Litherland, Gene Ormsby, Jamie Dallimore, Ryan Johnston, Joe Bullock, Nathan Mossop, Alec Susino, Jono Smith, Jarrad Stack and Martin Aspinwall.
Interchanges – Dean Parata, Brad Crellin, Danny Morrow and Glenn Riley.
Batley Xlll – Dave Scott, Keenan Tomlinson, Lewis Galbraith, Danny Cowling, Shaun Ainscough, Pat Walker, Dominic Brambani, Adam Gledhill, Alistair Leak, Alex Rowe, James Harrison, Bradley Day and Dane Manning.
Interchanges – Joseph Chandler, James Davey, Alex Bretherton and Michael Ward
Match Report by Luke Winner.
Batley travelled to the LD Nutrition Stadium to face Featherstone Rovers in what was a gruelling Betfred Championship away fixture, losing 50 – 12.
The Bulldogs began their first set with some brilliant pressure, testing each part of their opponent’s line going close, but unable to make any potential break. However, despite the visitor’s early efforts Featherstone started the scoring with Shaun Robinson, who collected the ball from a quick fire of passes. Ridyard struggled with the conversion.
Batley’s frustration showed following Duffy’s men’s early try, which saw them leaking multiple penalties gaining the Rovers crucial yards. From the tap, the ball was spread wide to Luke Briscoe, scoring his 25th consecutive try this season for the hosts. Ridyard couldn’t convert.
Matt Diskin’s side struggled to gain any firm foot hold on the game, as the Rovers strong defence kept Batley pinned in their half. Gareth Hock and Josh Hardcastle finished the scoring in the first half, after managing to squeeze through a tough Bulldogs line. Ridyard converted one out of the two.
HALF-TIME: Featherstone Rovers 18 – 0 Batley Bulldogs
Batley got the second half underway, and once again the hosts started as strong as they finished the first half with Shaun Robinson completing his second of the day. Ridyard couldn’t convert.
Lewis Galbraith soon responded hard, breaking down the left edge to then fire the ball straight into Dave Scott’s hands to finish off some fantastic play. Farrell converted.
The Bulldogs response was soon replied to though with Tom Holmes scoring twice and Joshua Walters as well as Shaun Robinson following deepening the Rovers lead even further. Ridyard converted three out of the four.
Dominic Brambani scored the final try for the Bulldogs, after completing a show and go move. Farrell added the extras.
Josh Hardcastle reaffirmed his team’s stance, declaring what was a tough Betfred Championship game for the visitors. Ridyard converted; teaching the Bulldogs a harsh lesson.
FULL-TIME: Featherstone Rovers 50 – 12 Batley Bulldogs.
Featherstone Xlll – Tom Holmes, Luke Briscoe, Joshua Hardcastle, Misi Taulapa, Shaun Robinson, Martyn Ridyard, Jordan Ridyard, Jordan Lilley, Scott Wheeldon, Keal Carlile, Mitch Clark, Connor Farrell, Joshua Walters and Richard Moore.
Interchanges – Matty Wilde, Gareth Hock, Sam Brookes and Nathaniel Peteru.
Batley Xlll – Dave Scott, Shaun Ainscough, Sam Smeaton, Lewis Galbraith, Jason Crookes, Izaac Farrell, Dominic Brambani, Tommy Holland, Alistair Leak, Alex Rowe, James Harrison, Brad Day and Dane Manning.
Interchanges – Michael Ward, James Davey, Joel Farrell and James Brown.
An outstanding performance from Matt Diskin’s men saw them run out 46-22 victors against a top quality, full time Toulouse Olympique. Pic © Neville Wright
Match report by Luke Winner.
Batley Bulldogs hosted Toulouse Olympique in what was a hard-fought win against the top four favourites in the Betfred Rugby League Championship, winning 46 – 22.
Batley were the ones who got the game underway, with Toulouse gaining a penalty straight after kick off; putting early pressure on the Bulldogs. Bastien Ader opened the scoring for the hosts after collecting a shooting pass to score in the far left. Kheirallah converted. Batley 0 – 6 Toulouse.
Jason Crookes, soon replied to the visitor’s early efforts, scoring a beautiful try after passing from right to left saw him over. Alistair Leak followed moments later, crashing through multiple Toulouse defenders to score from close range. Izaac Farrell converted one out of the two. 10 – 6
It was a tough set for the hosts as Toulouse showed their strength and agility, creeping up on the Bulldogs making great yards up the slope. Bastien Ader once again, took in a swooping ball play move to race over on the far side. Kheirallah missed the conversion.
Jason Crookes soon took his second of the afternoon, after a fast pass came flooding in from Isaac Farrell creating a clear overlap. Farrell slotted over the kick.
Dominic Brambani was soon back at his kicking game tactics after a nice kick from left to right reached the hands of Ainscough for him to touch down. Farrell couldn’t convert.
HALF-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 20 – 10 Toulouse Olympique
The second half went off with a bang as a Michael Ward made himself truly known to the opposition, barging his way through an immense opposition defence to score. Farrell converted.
26 – 10.
Mark Kheirallah came to close the gap, crossing the line during some intense pressure after a forced goal line drop out. Barthau converted. 26 – 16.
Leak, Ward and Izaac, caused conflict against the visitor’s line, claiming the vital metres needed. Joel Farrell sent Brad Day over the line swiftly from point blank; with Izaac Farrell adding the extras.
Toulouse slowly collapsed under the Batley pressure seeing them leak a penalty, enabling Izaac Farrell to dig a deeper hole for the visitors to get out of. Toulouse responded 10 minutes later with a superb try from Barthau and looked to be getting the better of The Bulldogs but the home side dug deep and Jason Crookes completed his hat-trick attempt, after a flurry of passes saw him sprint over to score, taking a pass from Galbraith near the end. Farrell converted.
Brad Day secured the final try of the day crowning Batley the winners’, after a sweeping move, Crookes kept the ball alive with a brilliant kick to set it up. Farrell converted.
FULL-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 46 – 22 Toulouse Olympique.
Batley Xlll – Scott, Ainscough, Smeaton, Galbraith, Crookes, I Farrell, Brambani, Holland, Leak, Rowe, Harrison, Day and Manning.
Interchanges – Davey, Brown, J Farrell and Ward.
Toulouse – Kheirallah, Lima, Planas, Ader, Maurel, Ford, Barthau, Boyer, Kriouache, Rapira, Mika, Curran and Bentley.
Interchanges – Robin, Peuch, Hepi and Marion.
Match report by Luke Winner.
History was made with the newest club travelling to the games oldest stadium. Batley ran their visitors close, losing slightly 18 – 26 against newcomers Toronto Wolfpack.
The game started off brilliantly from the Bulldogs’ stomping on Rowley’s men early doors. Once again the hosts showed their impressive fast flowing ball play, frustrating their opponent’s defensive efforts.
Toronto began the scoring with Captain Josh McCrone collecting a wide pass from Andy Ackers to reach over the try line. Brierley added the extras.
Despite the Wolfpacks early lead Batley soon hit back hard, as James Harrison danced around multiple defenders to complete a swift move. Walker converted. Batley 6 – 6 Toronto.
Alex Rowe, Joel Farrell and Tommy Holland landed Batley some valuable well-earned yards, causing massive disruption barging through a strong forward pack.
Just before half-time the tension in the ground rose once more, with both teams wanting to head inside leading before the second half. Wayne Reittie added more to the scoresheet, sweeping up an interception to run almost full length diving over into the right hand corner. However, his try came at price coming off injured after touching down. Walker added the conversion, seconds before the hooter.
HALF-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 12 – 6 Toronto Wolfpack
As the second half got underway Gareth O’Brien brought Toronto back into some breathing space after going over in the corner. Brierley struggled to make the conversion.
Toronto extended their lead with Gareth O’Brien managing to complete his hat-trick scoring twice more and Jack Bussey also going over, putting the visitors within a healthy position. Brierley converted two out of the three. Batley 12 – 26 Toronto.
A moment of weakness from Sam Hopkins saw him given the yellow card from Referee Tom Grant for a dangerous tackle. With a penalty being sent in Batley’s favour and only mili-seconds left on the clock, it became a frenzy on the pitch. Brad Day scored the Bulldogs final try of the afternoon, diving over in corner, sporting yet another superman dive on the hooter! Walker slotted over the conversion.
FULL-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 18 – 26 Toronto Wolfpack.
Bulldogs Xlll – Dave Scott, Wayne Reittie, Sam Smeaton, Lewis Galbraith, Jason Crookes, Patch Walker, Dominic Brambani, Tommy Holland, Alistair Leak, Alex Rowe, James Harrison, Brad Day and Joel Farrell.
Interchanges – James Davey, James Brown, Dane Manning and Michael Ward.
Toronto Xlll – Gareth O’Brien, Jonathan Pownall, Chase Stanley, Greg Worthington, Liam Kay, Josh McCrone, Ryan Brierley, Jacom Emmitt, Andrew Ackers, Ashton Simz, Jack Bussey, Richard Whiting and Jack Buchanan.
Interchanges- Reni Maitua, Adam Sidlow, Sam Hopkins and Blake Wallace.
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.
Match Report by Luke Winner.
Batley claimed the Good Friday bragging rights defeating Dewsbury Rams in a tough derby at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium; winning 18 – 10.
Matt Diskins men started the game well, making plenty of yards and placing some heavy pressure against the visitors. However, it wasn’t Batley who opened the scoring, with Dale Morton collecting a wide Batley pass, racing the full length to score. Sykes missed the conversion.
Dewsbury were becoming quicker off the mark after every play, causing the Bulldogs to make some errors along their line. Wayne Reittie soon hit back though at Dewsbury, collecting the spoils as the ball was shipped left to right. Walker couldn’t convert.
Joel Farrell, Tom Hemingway and Jason Crookes made themselves known on the field against their former club, marching the Bulldogs deep within their opponents half. ‘Super’ Brad Day was back at his tricks again, catching a swooping pass from Walker to score close range. Walker added the extras. Batley 10 – 4 Dewsbury.
It became tense before half time with both teams approaching each other halves, but unable to make any break. On the hooter Pail Sykes put over a penalty goal, bringing the scores within touching distance.
HALF-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 10 – 6 Dewsbury.
Jason Crookes got the second half back underway claiming what was going to be Batleys’ final try of the day; jumping up in the air to catch a deep kick from Walker to touch down on the left hand-side. Walker converted the conversion.
Dewsbury were looking to get something out of the second half, with Batley making it near impossible for them to put a foot on the ground of the game. Diskins’ men proved too much for the visitors, keeping them pinned in their half for the remaining part of the game.
Rob Worrincy completed Dewsbury’s move off on the wing, speeding to the line leaving some of the Batley defenders in the dust. Sykes added the conversion.
Batley had the final say with Patrick Walker slotting over a penalty goal, declaring Batley the victors of a tough derby match.
FULL-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 18 – 10 Dewsbury Rams.
Batley Xlll – Dav scott, Wayne Reittie, Sam Smeaton, Lewis Galbraith, Jason Crookes, Patrick Walker, Dominic Brambani, Michael Ward, Alistair Leak, Alex Rowe, James Harrison, Brad Day and Joel Farrell.
Interchanges – Tom Hemingway, James Brown, Dane Manning and Tom Holland.
Dewsbury Xlll – Josh Guzdek, Robert Worrincy, Harry Woollard, Macualey Hallett, Dale Morton, Paul Sykes, Dominic Speakman, Toby Everett, Robbie Ward, Martyn Reilly, Lucas Walshaw, Robert Spicer and Aaron Brown.
Interchange – Samuel Day, Daniel Annsell, Jode Sheriffe and Kyle Trout.
Match Report by Luke Winner.
Featherstone Rovers, proved too strong for the Bulldogs as they continued their winning streak in the Betfred Championship, with Batley falling 14 – 40.
It was a valiant start from the Bulldogs, placing the visitors under plenty of pressure as they struggled to cope with a fierce flowing attack. Both Alex Rowe and Michael Ward led Matt Diskin’s men down the slope adding valuable yards. Dave Scott soon took advantage dancing around multiple Rovers defenders racing to score. Walker didn’t miss the conversion. Batley 6 – 0 Featherstone.
Batley’s offence grew and grew with their defence staying impenetrable, disallowing any potential tries. Once again, after a succession of passes, Dave Scott performed almost the same try minutes earlier, speeding over the line again. Walker added the extras.
Duffys’ men made sure they weren’t going to be silenced too soon, with James Lockwood going over for the visitors after multiple penalties put them in some good field position. Ridyard converted.
Frustration soon grew after Featherstone’s try, seeing Jason Crookes being sent to the bin. Luke Briscoe swiftly acted on Batley being a man down, making an impressive break to score. Ridyard this time missed the conversion.
Just before the hooter sounded, Patrick Walker slotted over a penalty goal; bringing the half-time score to: Batley Bulldogs 14 – 10 Featherstone Rovers.
Rovers began the second half with vengeance, tugging away at the Batley defence constantly, trying to find a weak point. Soon after Ridyard successfully kicked a 40/20 with Harry Newman collecting the spoils. Ridyard added the extras.
After the visitor’s first try in the second half, they were firing on all cylinders as Luke Briscoe and former bulldog Tom Holmes extended their lead further. Ridyard converted one out of the two. Batley 14 – 28 Featherstone ..
Despite John Duffys’ men taking the lead, Batley still caused trouble forcing a various amount of errors along their line. A beautiful kick from Dominic Brambani pinned the visitors in their half, however nothing came of their hard work.
Matthew Wildie scored the final try of the day, running 50 metres after a 20m tap as Alistair Leak was deemed to be held back from the oppositions line. Ridyard added the conversion.
Full-time: Batley Bulldogs 14 – 40 Featherstone Rovers.
Batley Xlll – Dave Scott, Keenan Tomlinson, Danny Cowling, Lewis Galbraith, Jason Cookes, Patrick Walker, Izaac Farrell, Alex Rowe, Alistair Leak, Michael Ward, Sam Smeaton, James Harrison and Joe Chandler.
Interchange – Dominic Brambani, James Brown, James Davey and Tom Holland.
Featherstone Xlll – Tom Holmes, Luke Briscoe, Joshua Hardcastle, Harry Newman, Shaun Robinson, Martyn ridyard, Luke Cooper, Brad Knowles, Keal Carlie, Mitchell Clark, Connor Farrell, John Davis and James Lockwood.
Interchanges – Matthew carlie, Samuel Brookes, Frankie Mariano and Jack Ormondroyd.
In an exciting new partnership local business Driver Hire Wakefield become the latest to back The Bulldogs.
Following a number of meetings with Batley’s Danny Maun, a new sponsorship deal has been agreed which will see the company branding across the “Driver Hire Glen Tomlinson Stand” at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium
Based in the Batley Business Park and run by brothers Craig and Danny Shuttleworth, Driver Hire offer recruitment services to the driving sector with full and part time vacancies, permanent or temporary available on their website www.driverhire.co.uk
The Shuttleworth family have a long history in Rugby League in Batley and a main inspiration behind the sponsorship is the memory of the brothers’ Grandfather, Malcolm Shuttleworth, who played 186 times for The Gallant Youths between 1955 and 1967, scoring 14 Tries. He then held a role as Assistant Coach at Batley before later becoming a key figure at local amateur club Batley Boys.
“We’re incredibly proud of our Grandfather’s achievements in the sport, and this represents a fabulous opportunity to support the club in his honour” Craig told us.
Alongside the Driver Hire branding the stand will also feature a tribute to Malcolm.
Initially a 2 year agreement, both parties hope this will be the beginning of a longer venture which could also include another family business, a property investment company, purchasing local properties for renovation & rental.
Bulldogs Chairman Kevin Nicholas said of the deal “This is another example of a fantastic local business supporting the club. Ground development has always been high in our priorities and we’re thrilled to have Driver Hire on our side, especially considering the heritage of Malcolm’s time at Batley RLFC. It’s great news and we look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
Match Report by Luke Winner
A heroic effort by supporters and staff cleared the stadium of snow to enable The Bulldogs to entertain Leigh Centurions in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup but despite an equally brave performance from the home side the visitors held out to progress in the competition.
The game started off strong for the Bulldogs, who put in some great moves, placing the visitors under some intense pressure. Batley were the first ones to get on the score sheet, with Patrick Walker converting a penalty goal early on from a high tackle on Michael Ward. Batley 2 – 0 Leigh.
A few minutes passed and the score still stood at 2 – 0 with the conditions making it hard to control the ball flow. Leigh once again, struggled to cope with Matt Diskin’s men and eventually they were penalised for a ball steal. Patrick Walker opted for the two and converted. Batley 4 – 0 Leigh.
Despite Batley’s early lead, it was soon going to change; as Frederick Bailey raced to the line from a quick succession of passes to score. Jack Owens converted for the visitors. Batley 4 – 6 Leigh.
Every player eventually became unrecognizable, with the pitch being churned over making it a mud bath. Just before half time, both teams had a fair amount of possession, however no-one could make it across the line.
HALF-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 4 – 6 Leigh Centurions.
As the second half got underway, it was a reverse switch; the visitors this time started off strong testing the Bulldogs defence multiple times. Batley came close on various occasions, with Wayne Reittie, Alex Rowe and Brad Day edging close near the try line.
Leigh and Batley both had goal line drop outs earned from brilliant defensive efforts, but despite their best efforts the scores still stayed the same. Moments later, the Bulldogs were pulled for a high shot and Jack Owens’ opted for the two, managing to convert extending the visitors lead by 4.
Neither team managed to get themselves on the score sheet again. However, this doesn’t quite tell the story of a well fought out battle at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium with Batley falling narrowly in the Challenge Cup clash to Leigh Centurions
Full-time: Batley 4 – 8 Leigh.
Batley Xlll – Dave Scott, Wayne Reittie, Danny Cowling, Jason Crookes, Lewis Galbraith, Patrick Walker, Dominic Brambani, Alex Rowe, James Davey, Michael Ward, James Harrison, Brad Day and Joe Chandler.
Interchanges – Tom Hemmingway, James Brown, Keenan Tomlinson and Sam Smeaton.
Leigh – Peter Mata’utia-leifi, Matthew Dawson, Ben Crookes, Rhys Evans, Frederick Bailey, Jack Owens, Drew Hutchison, Paterkia Vaivai, Liam Hood, Nathan mason, Kyle Lovett, Bodene Thompson and Nicholas Gregson.
Interchanges – Micky Higham, Jordan Thompson, Jordan Dezaria and Harrison Hanson
A tough day at the office for The Bulldogs who came up against a fast and powerful London Broncos outfit.
The opening stages were even until the hosts opened the scoring on 10 muntes through Kieran Dixon, the first of four tries in the game for the winger.
Shaun Ainscough was forced to leave the game with an ankle injury with less than 15 minutes played, Dave Scott moving to the wing and Izaac Farrell coming on to make his Batley debut at Full Back.
The visitors then had a good spell of possession and picked up a deserved try though James Brown. London finished the half strongly though and led 36-6 at the break.
The game was more even in the second half and James brown registered his second for the Bulldogs with a strong angled run. At 44-12 the visitors were competing well and having the better of the play. Alex Rowe looked to have scored but the ball was ruled to have been stolen before grounding and a penalty given to Batley. Wayne Reittie then appeared to ground a kick from Walker but again the score was disallowed. The frustration was evident and Brambani saw red for his protests.
With a man short the task became almost impossible and the pace of the Broncos proved too much for a tiring Batley side, running in a further four tries to complete a convincing victory.
A result which can’t be argued with but the scoreline doesn’t quite tell the full story of the game with The Bulldogs at times more than matching their hosts. Ultimately though the Broncos were a formidable opponent and it’s difficult to see any Championship side leaving the Trailfinders Stadium with a win.
Broncos 68-12 Bulldogs
London Xlll – Alex Walker, Kieran Dixon, Ben Helliwell, Matt Fleming, Rhys Williams, Api Pewhairangi, Jarrod Sammut, Tom Spencer, James Cunningham, Mark Loane, Jay Pitts, Will Lovell and Matt Davis.
Interchanges – Matt Gee, Rob Butler and Sadiq Adebiyi, Sam Davies
Batley Xlll – David Scott, Wayne Reittie, Jason Crookes, Lewis Galbraith, Shaun Ainscough, Thomas Hemmingway, Dominic Brambani, Bradley Day, James Davey, Alex Rowe, James Harrison, Joel Farrell and Patrick Walker.
Interchanges – Izaac Farrell. Tom Holland, Joseph Chandler and James Brown.
London Broncos 68-12 Batley Bulldogs.
Match report from Luke Winner.
Batley began their home Betfred Championship campaign against Barrow Raiders in a rather cold 3rd round tie, securing a 32 – 12 win against the newly promoted side.
It was an instant start from the visitors as they were quick off the mark, stampeding through the Batley defence early on with Ryan Fieldhouse opening the scoring and Alec Susino following shortly after. Both tries converted by Jamie Dallimore. The Bulldogs couldn’t seem to find their feet at the start, unable to adapt to their opponent’s fast pace.
With Barrow losing the ball from the restart it provided the Bulldogs a chance to reaffirm their stance and from a penalty soon after Brad Day took advantage, dancing around multiple defenders to score. Walker converted. Batley 6 – 12 Barrow.
Batley’s defence held strong, managing just to keep the Raiders away from the line. Joe Chandler led the charge back up the slope, gaining some well-earned yards as Dane Manning grasped the ball taking it across the line after a succession of passes. Walker added the conversion.
Both teams were having a fair amount of possession with Matt Diskin’s side displaying some excellent ball play. From the back of a fierce offence, Brambani, on the last play, chipped over a beautiful kick to Wayne Reittie who finished the move, putting the Bulldogs ahead for the first time in the game.
HALF-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 16 – 12 Barrow Raiders.
This time it was Diskins’ side who started quicker, making up for their slow start in the first half.
Brad Day stormed his way through the Barrow defence from an excellent Tom Hemingway pass, running at least 40m to score a sensational try. Walker converted.
Barrow were now beginning to struggle with the fast Bulldogs play A sly backwards pass from James Brown allowed Dave Scott to duck the defenders to crash over. Walker added the extras.
Batley were on top now and a tough defensive line forced a goal-line-drop-out from which Dave Scott completed the scoring with his second of the day.
FULL-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 32: 12 Barrow Raiders
Overall a great performance by the Bulldogs, as they showed their physicality to hold off an inform Barrow Raiders team. Batley now look onto next week’s fixture, as Halifax RLFC are set to visit the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium in the next round of the Betfred Championship.
Batley Xlll – Dave Scott, Wayne Reittie, Danny Cowling, Jason Crookes, Shaun Ainscough, Patch Walker, Dominic Brambani, Adam Gledhill, Aliatair Leak, Alex Rowe, Dane Manning, Brad Day and Tom Holland.
Interchanges – Tom Hemmingway, Joe Chandler, Michael Ward and James Brown.
Barrow Raiders Xlll – Ryan Fieldhouse, Shane Toal, Jarrad Stack, Declan Hulme, Brett Carter, Jamie Dallimore, Karl Ashall, Ryan Duffy, Dean Parata, Alec Susino, Daniel Morrow, Bradd Crellin and Martin Aspinwall.
Interchanges – Nathan Mossop, Joesph Bullock, Thomas Walker and Glen Riley.
Match report by Luke Winner.
Batley travelled to the AJ Bell Stadium, to take on Swinton Lions in their 2nd round of the Betfred Championship season.
The Lions started the game off strong, prodding each part of the Batley defence till eventually they found the weakness they were looking for as Mike Butt crashed over. Hankinson struggled to convert for the hosts.
With Swinton pushing the pressure early on, the Bulldogs needed a swift response. Lewis Galbraith brought the Bulldogs back in line with Swinton, going over from multiple sets earned. Walker missed the conversion.
Just before half-time a flurry of tries flooded in from both teams as Wayne Reittie ran 60 metres to score with Adam Gledhill and Lewis Galbraith following seconds later. Walker converted two out of three
Stuart Littlers side made sure that they wouldn’t be silenced before the hooter sounded with Jack Hansen and Chris Hankinson conceding for the Lions. Hankinson converted both.
HALF-TIME: Swinton Lions 16 – 20 Batley Bulldogs.
Matt Diskin’s men got the game back underway with a bang, as once again Michael Ward almost crashed over from close range, taking at least 4 Swinton men to bring him down. However, it wasn’t long after that Michael Ward couldn’t be stopped. Walker converted.
Batley were taking full control of the game as once more, Lewis Galbraith shipped the ball away to Michael Ward who grabbed his second of the day. Brad Day joined the frenzy as the ball was passed down from seven hands placing Day over nicely. Walker converted one out of the two.
Swinton’s defence began crumbling, with Patch Walker breaking down the play with slow hands, as Dave Scott collected the pass scoring from close range. Walker converted. Swinton 16 – 42 Batley.
Some sloppy tackling from the Bulldogs, as their defence switched off allowing Luke Waterworth to score for the Lions. Hankinson didn’t miss the kick. Swintons’ Sarsfield came in from support confusing the Bulldogs defenders going across on a repeat set. Hankinson converted the kick.
Alistair Leak was the last to join the try cluster for the Bulldogs, after dancing over from dummy half, finishing off the game. Walker missed the conversion.
FULL-TIME: Swinton Lions 28 – 48 Batley Bulldogs.
Swinton Xlll – Gabriel Fell, Mike Butt, Chris Hankinson, Rhodri Loyld, Liam Forysth, Josh Woods, Jack Hansen, Andy Bareck, Luke Waterworth, Luke Shelford, Macauley Davies, Matt Sarsfield and Gavin Bennion.
Interchanges – Josh Barlow, Hayden Hansen, Samy Kibula and Conor Taylor.
Batley Xlll – David Scott, Wayne Reittie, Jason Crookes, Lewis Galbraith, Shaun Ainscough, Patch Walker, Dominic Brambani, Adam Gledhill, Alistair Leak, Alex Rowe, Dave Manning, Brad Day and a James Brown.
Interchanges – Joe Chandler, James Davey, Tommy Holland and Michael Ward.
The Bulldogs performed well at The Leigh Sports Village against a powerful Centurions side.
Although Leigh fully deserved their win the scoreline doesn’t quite tell the full story as the visitors had a fair share of possession in the first half, and coupled some impressive defensive efforts with good ball play when in possession.
Full report to follow.
Local Business Owner Mark Wells of Complete Services Ltd. has joined the Board of Directors at The Bulldogs. From a family of lifelong Bulldogs supporters, and indeed players with Uncles Mick and Simon Wilson both playing for the club with great distinction, he’s already a well known figure at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium
Mark has been a key sponsor for a number of years and heavily involved around the club, completing several projects in recent stadium and facility improvements. In the summer of 2017 he also completed the Pink Walk from Headingley Stadium to Wembley as part of our Pink Weekend fundraiser alongside Chairman Kevin Nicholas, Kevin’s daughter Alexandra, Imogen Kyle and Steve Wright.
Welcome aboard Mark, we hope you know what you’ve let yourself in for!!
The Bulldogs continued their winning run in the pre-season games with victory over Craig Lingard’s Keighley Cougars.
The visitors were quick off the mark with new signing Lewis Galbraith drawing the defence to send Shaun Ainscough clear after just 4 minutes, Ainscough in turn sent Joe Chandler racing over to open the scoring, Tom Hemmingway adding the extras. Not long after another great combination on the left saw Hemmingway find Ainscough with a long pass before racing onto the winger’s neat chip to the in goal, again concerting his own try.
Defences were on top for a long period as the sides struggled in difficult conditions until just before the break debutant Izaac Farrell placed a neat kick through the defence for Jason Crookes to collect and dive over giving Batley a 16-0 half time lead.
The weather became even worse in the second half with the sleet turning to pouring rain. Both sides to their credit kept trying to play and eventually James Davey was able to cap a fine personal performance reaching out to score from close range. Hemmingway added the extras.
The home side had a good spell of pressure but outstanding defence from Batley kept their line intact and with 10 minutes remaining Full Back Dave Scott cut in from the left to dance through the Cougars back line and score, this time Farrell converted.
A serious looking injury to Tom Lillycrop was the only downside to a solid display from The Bulldogs who once again looked organised and discipline and played some excellent rugby league at times.
Final Score: Keighley Cougars 0-28 Batley Bulldogs
Batley 13: Dave Scott, Jason Crookes. Keenen Tomlinson. Lewis Galbraith. Shaun Ainscough. Tom Hemingway. Izaac Farrell. Tommy Holland. James Davey. Alex Rowe. Joe Chandler. Dane Manning & James Brown.
Interchanges: Adam Gledhill, Tom Lillycrop, Michael Ward & Danny Cowling.
Keighley 13: Ritchie Hawkyard, Davey Dixon, Hamish Barnes, Adam Ryder, Andy Gabriel, Benn Hardcastle, Matty Beharrell, Scott Law, Nathan Conroy, Matthew Bailey, Liam Senior, Josh Tonks & Mike Emmett.
Interchanges: Trae O’Sullivan, Josh Lynam, Ryan Wright, Cameron Leeming, Brad Nicholson, Jose Kenga & Dan Parker
Image: © Neville Wright
By Luke Winner
The Bulldogs were too powerful for a young Wakefield Trinity side at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium, running out 24-12 winners in an entertaining contest.
The opening minutes of the game saw the Bulldogs’ gain some well-earned yards deep within the Trinity half. The home side maintained good field position for the opening quarter but were unable to break a determined defence. On 25 minutes with The Bulldogs pressuring the Trinity line A loose Batley pass was intercepted by Wakefield’s’ fullback Tom Ashen, who ran the full 80m to end the deadlock. Luke Hooley added the visitor’s extras.
Batley 0 – 6 Wakefield.
Batley began building their offence up again with Wayne Reittie almost going over in the right-hand corner. However, a solid Trinity defence held back the winger from squeezing over. Shortly after the hooter sounded calling half-time as the Bulldogs’ headed in trailing narrowly 0 – 6.
Batley began the second half with intent as Alistair Leak went charging over from dummy half shortly after the restart. Walker converted. 6 – 6. The home side kept up the momentum as the ball was shipped from right to left sending Shaun Ainscough flying over in the corner. Walker didn’t miss the conversion. 12 – 6
Chester’s men charged their way up the hill swiftly after Max Jowitt high kick caused a Bulldogs error. Jowitt himself then went over in the next play. James Batchelor added the conversion, bringing it to 12 – 12.
Tries began flooding in as straight after the restart, James Brown went crashing over from close range. Walker missed the conversion. 16 – 12.
The Bulldogs were now applying pressure and a number of goal line drop outs were forced. New signing Keenen Tomlinson making his second appearance for the Bulldogs, managed to prevent a break for Wakefield from a loose ball.
Some more stunning fast flowing ball play, this time from left to right saw Wayne Reittie dance over to score in the far right. 20 – 12.
Bringing the game to a close, Dane Manning made sure to punish the visitors after they were penalised for a ball steal, scoring from a restart tap 10m out. Walker couldn’t convert.
An entertaining day at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium with both sides showing skill and determination on difficult conditions.
FULL-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 24 – 12 Wakefield Trinity.
Batley 13: Dave Scott, Wayne Reittie, Danny Cowling, Jason Crookes, Shaun Ainscough, Patch Walker, Dominic Brambani, Adam Gledhill, Alistair Leak, Tom Lillycrop, James Harrison, Keenen Tomlinson and Joe Chandler.
Subs: Tom Holland, Michael Ward, Alex Rowe, James Brown and Dane Manning.
Wakefield 13: Luke Hooley, Lee Kershaw, Tom Ashen, Cieran Lewis, Jack Croft, Max Jowitt, Christian Ackroyd, Lewis Wray, Henry Hiddlestone, Jordan Crowther, Nathan Newbound, Wilf Moxon and James Batchelor.
Subs: Tom Schofield, Jacob Jones, Titus Gwaze, Yusuf Aydin, Connor Bailey, Jordan Schofield, Morris Kamano and Coleby Colethorpe.
Match Referee: Mr. Robinson
Golden Gamble Winning Ticket 12256. £111
This year we held our 4th Pink Weekend in August and my goodness our fans dug in deep and donated very generously. We are delighted to announce that this year we raised £21,000 making a total of £51,000 over four years. This is an amazing amount of money and when the concept of the Pink Weekend was first thought of an amount that could never have been dreamed of
There can’t be many Rugby League Clubs that can say they have raised £51,000 in 4 years for charity, BUT, we can!
The Pink Weekend has now become part of the Batley Bulldogs calendar and we hope that that continues for many years
Chairman, Kevin Nicholas said “We are amazed at this amount and cannot thank our fans enough for their participation in the Pink Weekend. We don’t have a massive fan base but what we have are genuine fans who care about the Club and have embraced the Pink Weekend for 4 years. This year we promoted a walk from London Broncos to Wembley on Challenge Cup final day, raising money for the Pink Weekend and I hoped to get 120 people taking part. There were doubters that 120 people from Batley would take part but in the end we had over 130 and could have had more is transport would have allowed.
All that took part had a great day in their Pink tee shirts and the sight of them on Wembley Way and walking the perimeter of the pitch was fantastic”
The weekend had the entertainment, wet people on the Ducking stool, Pink Pig racing. Batley Boys tournament and of course our players in their Pink kit. Each kit was sold even before the match and orders are already placed for next years!
The Pink Weekend will be taking place again next year, August 18/19th and we hope that our fans will once again embrace the weekend and we can raise more money for Breast Cancer. Every penny raised has been donated even the 81p interest from the bank and together with these Charities we will work towards helping those affected, their families and friends and trying to find a vaccine for the future.
On behalf of the Club THANK YOU to all our fans for your amazing input
The Bulldogs 2017 Awards Night was a huge success at a packed Howley Hall Golf Club.
Full Back Dave Scott was the star of the show collecting 3 Awards, The Supporters Club Player of the Year, Bulldogs Forum Player of the Year, and Coaches Player of the Year.
Wayne Reittie was named Rear of the Year and retained the Trophy for Top Try Scorer, with a very impressive 21 Tries in 29 Appearances.
The BISSA Award for outstanding service to the club went to hard working kit man Jonny “Potts” Hooley whilst the Clubman of the Year award was given jointly to Stan & Ann Whitaker of Morley Waste Traders for their exceptional support of Batley Bulldogs over the past 7 years.
Tom Lillycrop was voted Supporters Club Man Of Steel, and the much coveted Player’s Player of the Year went to a very proud Dane Manning.
Supporters Club Awards:
Rear of The Year: Wayne Reittie
Man of Steel: Tom Lillycrop
Player of the Year: Dave Scott
Bissa Award: Jonathon Hooley
Bulldogs Forum Player of the Year: Dave Scott
Clubman of the Year: Stan & Ann Whittaker, Morley Waste Traders
Top Try Scorer: Wayne Reittie, 21 Tries
Coaches Player of the Year: Dave Scott
Players Player of the Year: Dane Manning
After going behind in the opening minutes a much changed Bulldogs’ side overcame rivals Sheffield Eagles in an entertaining game at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.
Match report by Luke Winner.
A frail start from the Bulldogs as 2 minutes into the first half Patrick Flynn opened the scoring in the far-right corner. Jack Owens struggled with the conversion. Even though the visitors were the first team on the scoreboard, Batley were sure to respond forcing two Goal-Line-Drop-Outs on the bounce. As the pressure grew and grew Sheffield’s defence collapsed, making it perfect for Dane Manning to go crashing over the line. Dave Scott added the extras.
Sheffield were making it tough for themselves with multiple errors on their own line. A high placed kick from Scott went flying in the direction of Ryan Millar who grappled with the ball, after being challenged by James Harrison forcing the error, Joe Chandler then swooped in collecting the loose ball to score. Dave Scott converted. Matt Diskin’s men again were proving to be too much for the Eagles defence, fast flowing ball play being hard to cope with. After confusion from the visitors and Shaun Ainscough danced his way over. Dave Scott couldn’t convert. Batley 16 – 4 Sheffield.
Alex Rowe looked to have gone over the line, however Referee Race adjudged there was a knock on. Alistair Leak frustrated with the decision was sent to the bin for preventing a quick 20m tap. The frustration increased with Batley sending two penalties the Eagles way; Mark Mexico took advantage swiftly, speeding through from close range. Jack Owens converted.
Batley headed inside at half-time leading narrowly: Batley Bulldogs 16 – 10 Sheffield Eagles
Just 5 minutes into the second half, the ball was kept alive by the visitors, however Jack Owens on the last pass was called forward. Some short side play after a quick play the ball, Alistair leak went low and scored. Dave Scott converted making his conversion rate 3/4. Tensions rose again and the yellow card was shown to Jonah Cunningham for a professional foul. Despite being a man down Duane Straugher powered his way over, bringing his team back into the game. Owens missed the conversion.
After the restart, Manning went high on the Eagles prop Wheeldon seeing afters occur. Once again a card was flashed, this time it was red for Eagles’ Wheeldon and the penalty was awarded to Sheffield. Regardless that Mark Astons side were down to 11 men, they still posed a great threat in attack, with Menzie Yere landing a great finish in the corner. Jack Owens couldn’t add the extras.
The final two tries of the game came 5 minutes apart, Alistair Leak grabbing his second of the day and Alex Bretherton scoring by a short ball from dummy half. Dave Scott added the extras.
A tough and hard fought encounter with changes made by both sides but a victory for The Bulldogs making it 3 wins over Sheffield this season. Onto next week when the two sides meet again for a place in the Kingstone Press Championship Shield Final!
Full-Time: Batley Bulldogs 34 – 18 Sheffield Eagles.
Batley 13 – Dave Scott, Wayne Reittie, Sam Smeaton, Danny Cowling, Shaun Ainscough, Joe Chandler, James Davey, Will Maher, Alistair Leak, Adam Gledhill, Dane Manning, James Harrison and Joel Farrell.
Interchange – Jason Crookes, Alex Bretherton, Alex Rowe and Brad Hill.
Sheffield 13 – Ryan Miller, Patrick Flynn, Menzie Yere, Perry Whiteley, Ben Blackmore, Jack Owens, Matthew Fozard, Scott Wheeldon, Gregory Burns, Kyle Trout, Liam Johnson, Duane Straughter and Liam Cooper.
Interchange – Jonah Cunningham, George Milton, Sam Scott and Mark Mexico.
Match Report by Luke Winner.
The Bulldogs secured a home tie in the Kingstone Press Championship Shield Semi-Finals with an outstanding display to power past local rivals Dewsbury Rams.
Batley began down the hill, the early stages were tight with both sides defending well before the Bulldogs took control. Wayne Reittie opened the scoring on twenty minutes and charged over again five minutes later, both tries followng some brilliant play from left to right. Walker converted one out of two.
Batley’s defence was holding tight and firm keeping the Rams at bay. Even with multiple penalties on the Bulldogs line they still couldn’t break it. This lead to frustration for the Rams, as after three sets in the hosts ten, they had made no advances and penalties were starting to leak. With two penalties going in Batley’s’ favour, it was just a matter of time before Dane Manning dug deep taking three Dewsbury defenders over their line with him to score. Walker added the extras. Batley went into the break leading 16 – 0.
Matt Diskin’s side started the second half stronger than the first, placing an immense amount of pressure until the Rams broke and Sykes was penalised. Wayne Reittie went over for a hat-trick after more expansive play set him up perfectly down the wing. Walker converted. A few minutes ticked away until Wayne Reittie went speeding over the line again for his fourth try of the game. Walker missed the conversion.
A moment of weakness and Dewsbury had back to back sets again on the Bulldogs line. However, the defensive structure of Diskin’s men held well forcing a turnover. Man of the Match Dane Manning crossed for his second try of the game on 75 minutes before Alex Rowe extended the lead further, crashing over taking at least four Dewsbury men with him. Walker added the extras.
With just a minute remaining Dewsbury went into a frenzy shipping the ball everywhere trying to find a gap and just before any break could be made, they were wrapped up.
Full-time: Batley Bulldogs 38 – 0 Dewsbury Rams.
Tries: Reittie (21,25,45,54), Manning (40,75), Rowe (79)
Conversions: Walker (25,40,45,75,79)
Batley – David Scott, Wayne Reittie, Sam Smeaton, Jason Crookes, Shaun Ainscough, Patrick Walker, Dominic Brambani, Will Maher, Alistair Leek, Tom Lillycrop, Dane Manning, James Harrison, Joel Farrell
Subs – Brad Day, Cain Southernwood, Alex Rowe, Adam Gledhill
Dewsbury – James Glover, Dale Morton, Macauley Hallett, Lucas Walshaw, Gareth Potts, Paul Sykes, Dom Speakman, Jode Sheriffe, Sam Day, Jack Teanby, Robert Spicer, Michael Knowles, Aaron Brown.
Subs – Mickael Goudemand, Aaron Ollett, Toby Adamson, Toby Everett
The Bulldogs came away from Rochdale with a hard earned victory in an ill tempered game which saw two red and two yellow cards.
Match Report from Luke Winner:
The hooter sounded and Rochdale Hornets kicked the game underway. Batley made it just near halfway on their first set of the game meaning a high kick on the last went into the air testing the Hornets catching abilities; the ball was taken well and Rochdale had their first set. Reittie looked to have gone flying over in the far corner after some brilliant Bulldogs effort, however the Referee called the play back and disallowed the try stating a forward pass occurred previously. Later, both teams were forcing too much pressure on each other, with Batley and Rochdale switching penalties for messing within the ruck; as Rochdale was the last to have the penalty, they were sure to make up for their past mistake with Foster feeding to Crowley, who then plays on to Eccleston, who dummied his way over on the right flank. Conversion failed. Score: Rochdale 4 – 0 Batley.
Batley came through with some great possession and defensive structure forcing Hornets deep in their half each time. Middlehurst had possession on the last and chips through but the ref spots an infringement and Rochdale gained a penalty under the sticks. From the penalty Rochdale opted for the two and the conversion was successful by Yates. Score: Rochdale 6 – 0 Batley.
With the hosts taking the lead early on the Bulldogs had to hit back with a reply to prevent their opponents growing in confidence. Great hands created an overlap, as Scott stepped a defender to score. This brought the score to: Rochdale 6 – 6 Batley with the kick being converted by Walker.
Almost 15 minutes went by with both teams struggling to keep possession and have a full set with the ball, as the Hornets and Bulldogs traded knock on after knock on. Batley were handed a team warning as the pressure and frustration grew and grew; Hornets were handed back to back penalties which saw them on the visitors 20m line. Kevin Penney found space on the flank and dived in at the flag. The kick was struggled with by Yates. Score Rochdale 10 – 6 Batley.
Two minutes remaining since half time and Batley almost looked to be heading into the second half falling 10 – 6 after some strong offensive and defensive pressure from the hosts. Hands from right to left and Ainscough finished off the move from a Crookes offload. Walker added the extras. Score: Rochdale 10 – 12 Batley. The Bulldogs worked hard as the final seconds ticked and ended up just short of half way; the Referee awarded a penalty now placing the Bulldogs, 20m on the Rochdale line. The hooter sounds as the last play gets carried out.
Half-time: Rochdale Hornets 10 – 12 Batley Bulldogs
The hooter sounded and the second half is kicked underway by Wayne Reittie. It was a hard start for the hosts as Matty Hadden threw a forward pass, despite a simple error they were fast to react and grab the ball back after a wayward pass by the Bulldogs. From this point on it was the Batley ball as they gain multiple penalties on the Rochdale line, it was only a matter of time before a gap was found. Alex Bretherton lands beautifully in the corner, diving with the ball in one hand and his feet in the air. Walker Converted the kick. Score: Rochdale 10 – 18 Batley.
The Bulldogs went over again 10 minutes later as Walker kicked a well-placed grubber, which met Jason Crookes. Walker converts. Score: Rochdale 10 – 22 Batley. However, tempers flared as players from both teams are shown the cards: Jason Crookes (Red), Gary Middleshurst (Red) and Ben Moores (Yellow) with Jordan Case (Yellow) minutes later.
A knock on leaked in their opponent’s line after the penalty. With only 10 men on the field for the Hornets, they noticed an overlap out wide and Yates carried out the try. Foster failed the conversion. Score: Rochdale 14 – 22 Batley.
It goes from bad to worse for the hosts as Lewis Foster was helped off joining his team mate, Jono Smith who left earlier on due to a crunching tackle. Batley were now taking control of the flow of the game and scored on the bounce with Dave Scott and Alex Bretherton going over for the final tries. Walker nailed both conversions.
Full-time: Rochdale 14 – 34 Batley Bulldogs.
Rochdale 13 – Declan Kay. Kevin Penny, Jake Eccleston, Lewis Galbraith, Chris Riley
so: Lewis Foster, Danny Yates, Jovili Taira, Ben Moores, Anthony Walker, Jono Smith, Josh Crowley, Gary Middlehurst
Interchange – Ryan Maneely, Gavin Bennion, Matty Hadden and Jordan Case.
Batley Bulldogs 13 – Dave Scott, Wayne Reittie, Sam Smeaton, Jason Crookes, Shaun Ainscough, Pat Walker, Dominic Brambani, Adam Gledhill, Alistair Leak, Tom Lillycrop, Dane Manning, Alex Bretherton, Bradley Day
Interchange – Alex Rowe, Joel Farrell, James Davey, James Brown
Tries: Jake Eccleston, Kevin Penny, Danny Yates,
Goals: Danny Yates,
Tries: Dave Scott 2, Shaun Ainscough, Alex Bretherton 2, Jason Crookes,
Goals: Pat Walker 5,
Pictures courtesy and copyright of Neville Wright.
The Bulldogs ground out a 3rd successive Kingstone Press Championship victory, against a determined Rochdale Hornets.
The home side made the perfect start as a Batley error from the kick-off handed them possession and a well worked move saw Lewis Galbraith score in the corner, the conversion attempt fell wide giving Hornets a 4-0 start.
After a tight opening quarter The Bulldogs took control with scores from Adam Gledhill and Shaun Ainscough, Walker converting both before adding a penalty. Jake Eccleston hit back after a series of penalties but again the conversion failed and the visitors led 14-8 at half time.
The second period was much closer with both sides sharing possession without really threatening the opponents line until Gary Middlehurst crossed for the Hornets, a conversion levelled the scores.
The Bulldogs held their nerve though despite Rochdale having the majority of possession and a towering kick from Walker saw Full Back Kay spill the ball after a fabulously timed tackle by Joel Farrell & Jason Crookes. From the resulting set The Bulldogs were awarded a penalty 10m in field and Walker kept up his perfect record to edge his side in front. Shortly after the Hornets spilled the ball in their own half, Jason Crookes raced away to be held short of the line before Alistair Leak burrowed over in the corner, Walker converted. From the resulting kick-off the ball went dead and Walker again coolly slotted over a penalty from halfway to give Matt Diskin’s side a hard earned victory.
A Wayne Reittie double wasn’t enough to claim the points as Toulouse Olympique claimed a 28-20 victory over Batley at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.
On the back of the defeat against Dewsbury at last weekend’s Summer Bash, Batley welcomed in-form French side Toulouse who were sitting 2nd in the Kingstone Press Championship table.
Early opportunities were hard to come by with both sides proving resolute with Smeaton denied on the ten minute mark by crucial Toulouse defending.
Then, against the run of play, Toulouse broke clear for the first time and Stanislas Robin was able to score the opening try of the game in the away side’s first dangerous attack. Khierallah added the conversion to make it 0-6.
Batley continued to apply pressure and were soon rewarded after a perfectly weighted kick by Brambani set free Wayne Reittie to finish superbly. Brambani brought the game level with the conversion.
On the half hour mark, Toulouse were penalised for a dangerous tackle on prop forward Alex Rowe. Brambani stepped up and took the two points on offer to give Batley a deserved lead.
Soon after, Toulouse were penalised for offside and Brambani had another opportunity from a similar position to add to Batley’s tally. Brambani, this time, hit the post.
On the brink of half time, Batley finished off a fine opening fourty minutes in style after Wayne Reittie crashed over in the corner for his second of the game. On the hooter, Brambani, from the touchline, added a perfect conversion to give the Bulldogs a stronghold in the game.
HALF TIME: Batley Bulldogs 14-6 Toulouse Olympique.
Batley started the second half the stronger but it was Toulouse who were first over the line. A quick break allowed Marcon to score out wide. Khierallah missed the opportunity to add the extras.
From kick off, Toulouse scored again after a break from half way. This time, Marion finished off a fine move by the visitors to bring the game level. Toulouse took the lead after Robin added the conversion.
Batley’s pressure continued and were nearly over through James Brown soon after but his knock on ensured that Toulouse would survive the mounting pressure once more.
On the hour mark, Batley made the extensive pressure pay as Shaun Ainscough crashed over from close range to put the Bulldogs back ahead. Brambani added the extra two points to give Batley a four point lead.
Then, Toulouse stretched clear after Batley failed to deal with a kick and Constantine Mika finished off a scrappy move. Robin added the conversion to put the away side ahead once more.
More Batley pressure was well dealt with and Toulouse finished the game off soon after. Kane Bentley scored from close range for the away side. The conversion was added to give Toulouse an eight point lead.
Batley looked to grab more points at the death but the defence by the French side remained resilient.
FULL TIME: Batley Bulldogs 20-28 Toulouse Olympique
Batley Bulldogs succumbed to a 13-12 defeat at the hands of Dewsbury Rams who completed a league double in the Heavy Woolen Derby.
Dewsbury opened the scoring through James Glover who kicked a penalty from close range under the sticks to take a 2-0 lead inside the opening five minutes.
Dom Brambani’s dangerous tackle earned himself ten minutes in the sin-bin and Dewsbury pressure began to mount.
Brambani returned and made an immediate impact after putting it on a plate for Danny Cowling to score from close range to put the Bulldogs head for the first time. Southernwood was unable to add the extras for Batley.
Soon after, a late tackle by Joel Farrell gave Dewsbury the opportunity to draw the game level with a penalty. Glover’s kick was successful and the game was all square on the half-hour mark.
Just before the break, an inventive assist by Sam Smeaton set free winger Wayne Reittie to score out wide for the Bulldogs. Southernwood pulled his kick wide but Batley were ahead once more.
HALF TIME: Batley Bulldogs 8-4 Dewsbury Rams.
Five minutes into the second half, the Bulldogs were over for a third time. James Harrison crashed over in the corner after a strong run to extend Batley’s lead. Southernwood was unable to add the extras on this occasion.
Dewsbury replied immediately after Brown ran from half way and powered his way over for the Rams. The extra points were added by Glover to bring Dewsbury back into the game.
Then, a break by Dewsbury had to be dealt with by Scott who kicked the ball dead. From the following set, Batley were penalised after Cowling was holding down. Dewsbury, from the penalty, leveled the scores through Glover’s penalty.
Dewsbury, on the hour mark, took the lead once more after Paul Sykes’ drop goal attempt was successful from close range.
Soon after, a last ditch try-saving tackle by Wayne Reittie on Glover kept Dewsbury’s advantage at just one point.
In a scrappy affair, Dewsbury entered the final ten minutes with a slender advantage.
Two opportunities for Brambani were squandered inside the final moments. A penalty was put wide before a drop-goal was also put wide.
With a minute to play, Southernwood’s attempted drop goal was well wide and Dewsbury held out to complete the league double over the Bulldogs.
FULL TIME: Batley 12-13 Dewsbury.
The Bulldogs grabbed a much needed victory in a crucial tie at Oldham.
The home side started strongest with 2 early tries before Batley hit back through Danny Cowling and Joel Farrell to level the scores at 10-10 after just 15 minutes. A quick-fire double from Winger Adam Clay restored Oldham’s 10-point advantage but The Dogs again pinned their hosts back as first Alistair Leak then Adam Gledhill scored, Southernwood converted both to level the scores going towards half-time. Dom Brambani was sin binned for a foul challenge just before the break and shortly after Scott Leatherbarrow and Cain Southernwood both had opportunities to give their sides a half time lead with penalties but were unable to hit the target.
12 man Batley made the perfect start to the second period though with a fabulous team move sending Wayne Reittie over in the corner, Southernwood adding an outstanding touchline conversion in the wind. A strong spell from Oldham saw them threaten the visitors’ line but great work from the Shaun Ainscough and the Batley defence held them off before Brambani returned to the fold and made an immediate impact dancing through the Oldham defence to score under the posts.
Southernwood added a penalty shortly after before first James Harrison then Tom Lillycrop raced over to put the game out of reach, the latter after more outstanding work from Brambani who’s day was ended prematurely in the dying seconds with a red card for dissent. From the resulting penalty, Oldham scored from close range on the hooter.
Final score of Oldham 28-48 Bulldogs.
Header Pic © Neville Wright
Batley Bulldogs succumbed to another defeat after in-form Hull KR ran riot during a 68-4 victory at the Mount.
Without a win in four games, Batley welcomed table-toppers
Hull Kingston Rovers to The Fox’s Biscuit Stadium in front of the biggest crowd of the season.
In the reverse fixture in the league, two tries in the opening minutes for Hull gave Batley a mountain to climb and on this occasion Batley faced a similar challenge after Shaun Lunt offloaded from close range for the visitors to put it on a plate for Robbie Mulhern to score. The conversion was added by Ellis.
Soon after, Batley conceded again through winger Ryan Shaw after a perfect long pass by Ellis. This time, Ellis missed the conversion but Hull were into double figures within ten minutes.
Within minutes, Batley carved out a glorious opportunity of their own with Danny Cowling and Macauley Hallett out wide but misjudgement by Cowling cost the Bulldogs a certain try.
From the following set, Hull broke clear of the Batley defence and a short pass by Cockayne set free Heffernan to score once more for the away side. From under the sticks, Ellis added another conversion.
On the twenty-minute mark, Hull added to their try tally after a break in midfield allowed Ellis to stretch clear and release Jordan Abdull to score for the visitors. From wide, Ellis converted to give Hull a 22-point advantage.
Batley struggled to create chances and were punished once more soon after as Dockar-Clay finished off a superb break under the posts to essentially put the game out of Batley’s reach. Ellis added the conversion once more.
Within a minute, Hull scored again through Shaw with his second of the game in the corner after another long pass by Ellis. From the touchline, Ellis’ conversion was marginally wide.Soon after, the visitors added to their tally after Heffernan crashed over from close range for his second. Ellis, on this occasion, kicked the conversion to stretch the visitors lead to 38.
Just before half time, Batley pressure forced a goal-line drop out but a Brambani knock on brought the move to an end and the away side survived.
HALF TIME: Batley Bulldogs 0-38 Hull Kingston Rovers
From the restart, Batley came forward after but a forward pass deep inside Hull’s half denied another opportunity to score and again the away side survived.
Soon after, Hull broke free of the Batley defence once more and Ellis was over for Hull KR to open their account for the second half. Ellis then added the extra two points.
Batley gradually began to put some pressure on Hull but the visitors were resolute in defence and were soon rewarded after a stray kick by Smeaton was gathered by Butler-Fleming who advanced from the half way line to score. Ellis added the extras to give Hull a half century of points.
A try-saving tackle by Day soon after denied Hull another try after
Butler-Fleming knocked on from close range.
From the following Hull set, the visitors broke once more through a cagey Bulldogs defence and Heffernan broke before putting it on a plate for Shaul to complete his hat-trick. Ellis, under the posts, converted.
Then, after more Batley pressure that was resisted, Hull broke again to score yet another try through Dockar-Clay who was over for his second of the game with ten minutes to play. Ellis again added the extras.
With five minutes to play, Batley finally scored, preventing the whitewash. Mikey Hayward crashed over in the corner after strong play by Smeaton in the build-up. Southernwood stepped up and missed the conversion.
In the final seconds, Hull finished off their victory with another fine try. On this occasion, Butler-Fleming was over again out wide for the visitors to seal a superb display. Ellis converted from wide to give the away side a 68-4 advantage.
FULL TIME: Batley Bulldogs 4-68 Hull Kingston Rovers.
Winning Golden Gamble Number 2875.
Match Report by Jake Beales-Hobson & Dan Brosnan
Monday the 24th of April saw the launch of the Lottery funded Batley RLFC heritage project with a celebration of the first Challenge Cup final which Batley won 120 years ago to the day. John Roe started the evening off with a passionate speech about what heritage is and what it means to the club and local community and spoke about the importance of collecting memories and memorabilia because once they are gone they are gone forever.
Craig Lingard then read out extracts form the 1897 reporter that gave details of the infamous day that Batley won the cup. He then outlined the plans that were in place for the three year project and asked that if anyone was interested in getting involved in any way they should make contact with the club.
The event was extremely well attended and it was fantastic to see a number of ex players from different eras attend as well as ex coach Paul Storey, a number of Batley supporters as well as supporters from other clubs as well.
Batley Bulldogs were eliminated from the Challenge Cup in dramatic fashion after Dewsbury Rams claimed a golden point victory at the Tetley’s Stadium.
Just ten days earlier, Dewsbury registered their first competitive win of the season against Batley in the Kingstone Press Championship. Therefore, the Bulldogs were on a mission to seek revenge at the Tetley’s Stadium.
Bulldogs’ Jy Hitchcox was making his debut for Batley after being sidelined for over a year through injury.
In the opening five minutes, a penalty for a high shot gave Batley the opportunity to open the scoring but full back Dave Scott was held up to deny the visitors an early lead.
From the following set, Batley were awarded a penalty or interference and the Bulldogs took full advantage after Macauley Hallett crashed over from close range. Batley had started the game on the front foot and were deservedly ahead inside seven minutes. Cain Southernwood, on his return to action, put the conversion marginally wide.
Within minutes of kick off, Dewsbury were over in the corner for a try of their own. A penalty conceded by Leak allowed Dewsbury to take full advantage and full back Josh Guzdek dived over in the corner to draw the game level. Paul Sykes’ conversion attempt was pulled wide.
Soon after, Batley were denied a second try after the referee deemed Dom Brambani’s pass to Brad Day to be forward and the Rams survived.
Midway through the first half, Batley were gifted an oppotunity to retake the lead after Robbie Ward kicked out on the full for Dewsbury inside their own half. A strong run from Brad Day earned Batley a penalty just ten metres out and the Bulldogs took full advantage.
Adam Gledhill and Alistair Leak were both held up before a wide pass by Southernwood found Farrell who put it on a plate for Macauley Hallett to score his second try of the game in the corner. Southernwood, on this occasion, kicked the resulting conversion to stretch Batley’s advantage.
From the restart, a high tackle by Dewsbury’s Dan Igbinedion gifted another opportunity for Batley deep in Dewsbury territory. A storming run and finish from prop forward Tom Lillycrop gave Batley their third try of the game. Southernwood, from in front of the posts, extended Batley’s lead with another successful conversion.
Despite mounting Batley pressure, it was the home side who scored next after Paul Sykes crashed over in the corner. A kick on the last tackle by Dewsbury ricocheted off of the chest of Batley prop Alex Rowe and Dewsbury took full advantage of an extra set after Sykes was found out wide to score. Sykes subsequently stepped up and missed the following conversion.
Moments before the break, a neat grubber kick by Brambani was poorly gathered by Dale Morton who knocked on and Batley were awarded a head and feed in dangerous territory. However, strong Dewsbury defence ensured that the ball went dead. In the aftermath, Smeaton was sent to the sin bin for Batley for obstructing play.
From the following set, Dewsbury scored again after a powerful break. Andy Kain broke through a gap in the Batley defence and put it on a plate for Guzdek to score his second of the game. Sykes added the extras to put Dewsbury within two points of Batley’s lead.
HT: Dewsbury Rams 14-16 Batley Bulldogs.
In the early exchanges of the second half, a strong attack by Batley forced a goal line dropout. From the following set, Cain Southernwood was held up well by Dewsbury and the Rams survived the Batley onslaught.
Soon after, a knock on by Igbinedion on the Bulldogs’ try line ensured that Batley’s lead remained intact.
However, Batley’s inability to finish soon became their downfall. Dewsbury took the lead for the first time in the game after Aaron Brown dived over after a clever grubber kick by Speakman. Sykes stepped up and added the extras for Dewsbury.
Then, interference by Batley gave Dewsbury a penalty and a chance to extend their lead to six. Sykes, from just in front of the halfway line, kicked the penalty to give Dewsbury a 22-16 lead with less than twenty minutes to play.
Within minutes, a kick by Dom Brambani was pounced on by Brambani himself to finish off a quite superb individual effort and gift Batley an opportunity to draw level with just fifteen minutes left. Southernwood’s conversion was wide and Dewsbury’s slender lead remained.
Batley looked to be over through Leak but the Bulldogs hooker was well held up and Dewsbury survived once more.
With three minutes to play, Batley were awarded a penalty for interference and Southernwood had the chance to draw the game level with a penalty. Southernwood converted and the game as level at 22-22 with seconds to play.
Brambani had the opportunity to win the game for Batley but his drop goal attempt was wide.
FT: Dewsbury Rams 22-22 Batley Bulldogs
The Heavy Woollen derby was to be decided by a golden point.
Dewsbury received the kick off but were unable to score in their set. From the resulting set, Dewsbury Rams’ Lewis Fairhurst scored the game winning drop goal and eliminated Batley from the Challenge Cup.
The Bulldogs and Castleford Tigers have entered a Dual Registration agreement for the 2024 campaign giving the opportunity for Bulldogs Head Coach Mark Moxon to add vital cover to his squad.
Mokko told us “The dual registration agreement will work well for us and Castleford this year. Clearly Linners and I have a good working relationship and both understand each others philosophies. A few players at Cas are already a part of our family at the Bulldogs and if they were to play for us the transition would be seamless.
Any other players that are made available would have to make us stronger for us to take them. In return, we hope to give the Tigers players some needed game time, at a high standard within a good culture up at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.“
The 2023 AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final between Batley Bulldogs and Halifax Panthers will be shown live, exclusive and completely free on the Our League web and app.
It will complete an eight-hour feast of Rugby League from Wembley Stadium on Saturday afternoon, following the historic double of the Betfred Women’s and Men’s Challenge Cup Finals, which will be shown live on BBC2 and BBC1 respectively.
The Women’s Final kicks off at 1150am, the Men’s Final in the traditional slot of 3pm, and the fourth AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final will kick off at 530pm.
Batley and Halifax are each playing in their first Final, and this will be the first 1895 Cup Final contested by two founder members of the Northern Union when it was formed in 1895.
It will be Batley’s first appearance at Wembley Stadium, as although they were the first winners of the Challenge Cup in 1897 and won it twice more in the next four years, that was well before the bold decision to take the Final south to Wembley in 1929.
Halifax have won the Challenge Cup five times, the last three of them at Wembley – most recently against St Helens in 1987.
As has been the case since the Final was first played at Wembley in 2019, the winner of the Ray French Award as Player of the Match will be determined by the votes of Our League members.
Anthony Thackeray was the first winner of the award, named after the hugely popular former dual code international and BBC commentator following a poll of Our League members, when Sheffield Eagles beat Widnes Vikings in 2019.
After the competition was suspended because of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Thackeray was followed in 2021 by Craig Hall for his performance in Featherstone Rovers’ victory over York.
And last year the Papua New Guinea hooker Edwin Ipape became the first overseas winner when he was voted the outstanding performer in Leigh’s win against Featherstone.
Our League is Rugby League’s membership platform, completely free to join, and now boasting more than 250,000 members.
For further details, go to Ourleague
‘Fallen heroes’ to be honoured at unique Cenotaph ceremony on Friday 11 August
Rugby League’s traditional and unique tribute to fallen heroes at the Cenotaph on the eve of the Challenge Cup Final in London will have an additional dimension in 2023, given the involvement of representatives from the first Women’s Challenge Cup Final to be played at Wembley.
Representatives of Leeds Rhinos and St Helens, who will contest the historic Women’s Final on Saturday, will join the captains and head coaches of Hull KR and Leigh Leopards, the Men’s Finalists, in Whitehall for the ceremony, at 11am on Friday August 11 – and there will also be representation from Batley Bulldogs and Halifax Panthers, the West Yorkshire clubs who will make their first appearances in the Final of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup, which will also be played at Wembley on Saturday August 12.
Supporters of all six clubs are expected to attend and pay their respects, in addition to other Rugby League lovers in London for Challenge Cup Finals Weekend – and as ever, the RFL widens that invitation to the general public to a ceremony which was first conducted in 1930.
RFL Chair Simon Johnson will lay a wreath on behalf of the sport’s governing body, and he will be joined by representatives from the Armed Forces Rugby League, the Royal British Legion, and the All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group – and also Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP, the Speaker of the House of Commons, who was recently reappointed as President of the RFL for a second year.
RFL Chair Simon Johnson says:
“It is a truly unique occasion and an intrinsic part of Rugby League’s Challenge Cup Final weekend, and I will again be immensely proud, both personally and as RFL Chair, to lead a tradition which honours those from our sport who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“The ceremony encapsulates the magnificent heritage of Rugby League and demonstrates how the sport is woven into the fabric of its communities and into the history of the North of England.
“Many people come to watch this solemn ceremony in their club colours, and the presence of representatives from the first Women’s Challenge Cup Final to be played at Wembley will be a welcome and significant addition.”
Hull KR and Leigh, returning to the Men’s Challenge Cup Final after a number of years, will be united in remembering two Northern Union heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country in the Great War (1914-1918) within 24 hours.
Leigh’s rising star (Sergeant) Ernest Doorey (1st Battalion King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment) was killed in action on 24 May 1915, during the Battle of Bellewaarde Ridge (Second Battle of Ypres). In the early hours of the following day, Hull KR and Great Britain centre (Private) Phil Thomas (1st Yorkshire Hussars Alexandra Princess of Wales’s Own Yeomanry) was also killed in action. Neither Doorey or Thomas have a known grave and they are remembered among the 54,588 at the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres.
A two-minute silence will commence on the stroke of 11am. This will be followed by wreath-laying, with Denise Edgar representing the Royal British Legion, and Lt Col. Dave Groce MBE on behalf of UK Armed Forces Rugby League.
There will then be prayers and the traditional bugle-call ‘The Rouse’ which will bring the ceremony to a close – before the representatives of the six clubs head for Wembley for the Captains’ Runs and familiarisation visits which are another tradition of Challenge Cup Finals weekend.
Rugby League remembers [the-then Northern Union] players from this year’s finalists who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War
|Men’s Challenge Cup Finalist||Women’s Challenge Cup Finalist||1895 Cup Finalists|
|Hull KR||Leigh Leopards||St Helens||Leeds||Halifax Panthers||Batley Bulldogs|
|Thomas, Phillip (Private). 25 May 1915||Doorey, Ernest (Sergeant). 24 May 1915||Flanagan, James (Lance Serjeant). 14 May 1918||Abbott, Sidney (Sergeant). 18 Sep 1918||Ewart, John (Private). 21 Mar 1918||Child, Joseph (Private). 9 Apr 1917|
|Topping, Robert (Private). 30 Jun 1916||Turtill, Hubert (Sergeant). 9 Apr 1918||Blakey, David (Sergeant). 1 Jul 1916||Debney, James (Private). 29 Sep 1916|
|Hopkins, Joseph (Private). 1 Jul 1916||Johnson, Walter (Rifleman). 3 Sep 1916|
|Jarman, Samuel (Private). 15 Aug 1916||Randerson, Robert (Captain). 7 Aug 1915|
|Leckonby, Leonard (Sergeant). 23 Apr 1917||Tindall, John (Rifleman). 9 May 1915.|
|Llewellyn, Arthur (Rifleman). 1 Jun 1917|
|Pickles, Joseph (Sergeant). 1 Jul 1916.|
|Ward, Belfred (Private). 30 Apr 1916|
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
The lines from John McCrae’s famous poem, hold more significance for this year’s Betfred Challenge Cup finalists than most will realise. For it is in Flanders within 24 hours that two of the Northern Union heroes made the ultimate sacrifice for their country in the Great War (1914-1918). Leigh’s rising star (Sergeant) Ernest Doorey (1st Battalion King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment) was killed in action on 24 May 1915, during the Battle of Bellewaarde Ridge (Second Battle of Ypres). In the early hours of the following day, Hull KR and Great Britain centre (Private) Phil Thomas (1st Yorkshire Hussars Alexandra Princess of Wales’s Own Yeomanry) was also killed in action.
Doorey signed for his hometown club of Leigh and was anticipated to be a future Rugby League star, who was tipped for Great Britain Colours. However, within less than 6 months of his signing, 6’2, 22-year-old Doorey found himself arriving with the British Expeditionary Force in France. The details surrounding Doorey’s death are unclear. He was killed in the vicinity of the infamous Mouse hole farm, when his battalion fought fiercely under gas and artillery bombardment to defend their trenches whilst their flanking formations withdrew.
In contrast to Doorey, Hull KR’s Phil Thomas was 36 years old, and was well renowned within the Northern Union having played for Oldham, Leeds, Coventry and Hull KR. His signing for Leeds from Oldham was a record £250 in 1904. Thomas survived only 5 weeks on the western front before he was killed. He died at the Second Battle of Ypres having suffered a direct hit from Artillery fire as he moved forward in broad daylight from his trenches in Vlamertinghe.
Neither Doorey or Thomas have a known grave and they are remembered among the 54,588 at the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres.
For the 1895 Cup finalists, the Western front is where they paid their highest toll. On 9 May 1915 in what was a terrible day for Allied forces in which they lost nearly 11,000 soldiers. Batley’s loss was equally as significant, losing John Tindal (Rifleman) in the infamous battle of Aubers Ridge. Tindall was a poster boy for Batley and held the try scoring record (having scored 29 tries in the 1912/13 season). Sadly, while waiting to go ‘over the top’ he received a direct hit from an Artillery shell, suffering horrific wounds to the back and shoulder which resulted in his bleeding to death.
Three years later, as part of the German Spring Offensive, which is often referred to as ‘the meatgrinder’ due to its heavy human toll, Halifax were to lose their lightning-fast winger John ‘Jock’ Ewart (Private). Ewart was serving with the 5th Battalion the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, when the first surge of the German attack came in, with 8,000 deaths and over 38,000 casualties on that first day, his battalion was at the heart of the fighting. At some point on the 21 March 1918, under heavy gas and explosive artillery shelling Jock Ewart was killed in action, aged 23. He has no known grave and is remembered amongst the 14,000 at the Pozieres Memorial in France.
Batley Bulldogs and Halifax Panthers to make history in the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final
Batley Bulldogs and Halifax Panthers will make history on August 12 when both clubs make their final bow in the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final at Wembley Stadium (KO 5.30pm.)
The cup competition was introduced in 2019 and offers Championship and League One clubs an opportunity to play in a knockout competition and earn a place at Wembley on Challenge Cup Final day – traditionally a celebration for the sport of Rugby League.
Batley, famously three-time winners of the Challenge Cup, including the first in 1897, will hope to write another notable chapter in the town’s history after beating York Knights 22-8 in the semi-finals to reach Wembley for the first time in their 143-year history.
Halifax are five-time Challenge Cup winners – their last success coming in 1987 against the same club Batley had defeated 100 years earlier: St Helens. The Panthers booked their place at the national stadium for the first time in 35 years with a memorable 6-10 victory at London Broncos.
With head coaches Craig Lingard (Batley Bulldogs) and Simon Grix both confirming their departures from their respective clubs at the end of this season, the fourth AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final promises to be an emotional occasion and a fitting climax to Finals Day on August 12.
Laura Beaumont, Marketing Director at AB Sundecks, says:
“This competition gives clubs outside Super League a realistic chance of playing at Wembley Stadium on finals day and I am sure that this year’s event is going to be a fantastic occasion for both teams involved. “My message to both clubs is ‘don’t doubt yourselves, go for it and enjoy it!’”
The 2023 Final will be the last match of an action-packed day which kicks off with the inspiresports Champion Schools Year 7 Boys Final between Archbishop Sentamu Academy (Hull) and Bedford High School (Leigh), and continues with the first Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup Final at Wembley at 11.50am, followed by the Men’s Final at 3pm.
News Release by The RFL.
A former Batley RL player and director has announced a major sponsorship deal with Batley Bulldogs.
Birstall-born Peter McVeigh made a name for himself in junior rugby league – captaining St Mary’s RC School, Batley; Inter-Towns (Batley and Dewsbury); Yorkshire Schools and the National Association of Boys Clubs teams before joining Batley Boys.
He made his senior debut for Batley RL in the second row aged 17 at Mount Pleasant on April 15, 1959 against Halifax.
Peter played for Batley for nine years before moving to Hull and Leeds under legendary player and coach Roy Francis and building a successful business career.
He served as a Batley RL director in the 1980s and was the club’s first playing shirt sponsor when he ran the lighting company
De La Mer.
Peter is chairman and managing director of the Birkenshaw-based multi-million pound lighting and electrical accessories company Status International (UK) Ltd, the UK’s leading independent supplier of lighting and electrical accessories. He founded the company with his son Nicholas, co-director and company secretary, in 1990. His son-in-law Andrew is also a director.
Peter said he was very grateful to Batley Boys and Batley RL “for giving me a start in life and getting me on the straight and narrow”. When he was awarded his Batley RL heritage number certificate in April he said he publicly thanked Batley RL for instilling a discipline in him that has served him well throughout his private and business life.
“It was a great pleasure playing for Batley, the club set me off on the right road,” he said. “Coming
from a family of 12, it could have gone the other way but thank God Batley put me on the straight and narrow, and playing for the club gave me lots of self-confidence. So I’m thanking Batley RL for it has done for me.”
Batley Bulldogs chairman Kevin Nicholas said: “This is a historic sponsorship deal bearing in mind that Peter is a former player and former director of the club and is now a significant sponsor.
“This is a special situation in any sport, especially in rugby league. We are delighted to welcome Peter back to the club and are grateful for his help. Peter is also part of the McVeigh family who have always been staunch, and very much appreciated, supporters of the club.”
The deal will see The Glen Tomlinson Stand feature the branding of Status International.
Batley Bulldogs Head Coach Craig Lingard has announced he is joining Super League Castleford Tigers as Assistant Coach on a two and a half year deal.
Linners will remain in charge at The Bulldogs for the remainder of the 2023 Campaign as the Castleford club have agreed to allow the time to carry out his duties at Batley and that in any potential gameday clashes The Bulldogs will take priority.
In a thrilling 3 years in charge Lingard has managed the squad through the turmoil of 2020 before guiding them to a Play-Off Semi Final in 2021, and then to The Grand Final and within one game of Super League last year.
Chairman Kevin Nicholas said “Obviously we don’t want to lose Craig but at the same time we’re delighted to see him progress and move onto Super League. The work done by the current backroom staff over recent years has been fantastic, we believe continuity is crucial and that’s why we have had no hesitation in asking Mark Moxon, who has been outstanding as assistant here at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium for over a decade and is fully committed to the ethos and spirit of the club, to take over as Head Coach next season”
The Board and coaching staff spoke to the players before training this evening and the news of Mokko’s appointment was very popular within the squad. Captain James Brown told the group “Nothing changes. Simple as that.” with Keegan Hirst agreeing “It’s the perfect solution”
So it’s business as usual for the remainder of 2023 and another exciting chapter ahead for all at the club.