Batley Bulldogs demolish Hunslet to secure 1895 Cup quarter final spot as march to Wembley continues

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Batley Bulldogs secured their spot in the quarter finals of the 1895 Cup by running in seven tries to thrash Hunslet 36-0.

A splendid, memorable hat-trick from Joe Burton against his former club, as well as a double from Dane Manning and efforts from Ben White and James Brown, secured Batley’s last-eight spot in the competition they were runners-up in last season.

Last year’s Wembley appearance, despite defeat to Halifax Panthers in their first ever visit to the national stadium in their history, will live long in the memory of all Bulldogs supporters.

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And hopes of a second successive date under the arch in June, on Challenge Cup final day, were boosted thanks to Josh Woods’ dramatic drop goal in the 15-14 victory over Featherstone Rovers two weeks ago.

South Leeds StadiumSouth Leeds Stadium
South Leeds Stadium

Mark Moxon had insisted before a ball was thrown at the South Leeds Stadium however, that the victory over Fev “would mean nothing” if they didn’t “get the job done” against League 1 Hunslet.

And, after a quiet start to proceedings, the visitors roared into life with Burton, who replaced Greg Johnson in just the one change to the 13 which started last weekend’s Challenge Cup victory over Workington Town, diving over in the corner after they had moved the ball smoothly to the left.

Burton had earlier been crunched into touch by Ross Whitmore. He responded in the most emphatic of ways against his former employers.

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Batley didn’t have to wait too long for a second try as White crashed over from close range, with Josh Woods adding the extras to make it 0-10.

The visitors were in supreme control, with the home side barely threatening. It was a matter of when, rather than if, the Bulldogs would go onto score their third try.

George Senior showed dazzling feet to create space but he probably should have passed to the vacant Burton instead of opting to go himself, as a swarm of Hunslet players prevented any further damage.

But they couldn’t thwart them for long. Michael Ward bulldozed his way through the middle of the pitch to gain Batley some valuable metres. And when they moved the ball to the left, the ever-dangerous Burton spectacularly touched down in the corner.

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Moxon had said he wanted a full 80 minute performance after Workington won the second half 18-8 last Sunday. But the head coach will certainly have no complaints about his side’s game management in the final 40 here.

The only surprise was that it took eight minutes for the Bulldogs to extend their lead with Manning crashing over for the first of a quickfire double.

Full back Robbie Butterworth then produced a magical darting run before being brought down on the right. But he managed to get over halfway and the Bulldogs made the position count with Manning proving too powerful for a tired-looking Parksiders defence.

Brown then skipped over unopposed as he scored on his first competitive start of 2024 before Burton’s hat-trick try added further gloss to the scoreline.

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The comfortable win sees Batley top Group 5 and book a quarter final tie away at Sheffield Eagles.

Hunslet: Watson, Goddard, Carter, Ferreira, McGrath, Williams, Beharrell, Hallas, Whitmore, Everett, Syme, Mearns, Gaylor

Interchanges: Berry, Darley, Wilkinson, Coventry

Batley: Butterworth, Morton, Buchanan, Senior, J Burton, White, Woods, Gledhill, Leak, Cooper, Manning, Walshaw, Moore

Interchanges: O Burton, Flynn, Ward, Brown

Tries: J Burton (3), White, Manning (2), Brown

Conversions: Woods (4)