Batley Bulldogs 30
Dewsbury Rams 6
By Andrew Hunt
DEWSBURY Rams produced a disappointing display as they were totally out played by Batley Bulldogs, who retained the Roy Powell Trophy with a convincing victory last Sunday.
Batley completely outplayed the Rams, who rarely looked like earning the bragging rights.
Josh Tonks was initially named as a substitute but when Luke Blake was injured in the warm up he started at hooker and was the pick of the Dewsbury players, especially in defence where he looked particularly solid.
Dominic Brambani was at the hub of Dewsbury’s best attacking moves but the visitors struggled to unlock a solid Batley defence.
Batley suffered an early blow when former Ram Adam Robinson suffered a knee injury in the first minute and played no further part in the game.
The Bulldogs piled on early pressure, twice forcing Dewsbury to drop out from between their posts, while the visitors defence scrambled to palm Gareth Moore’s crossfield kick away from leaping winger Alex Brown.
Batley took a 17th minute lead as prop James Martin drove for the line but was held short before Moore produced a neat grubber kick and Ian Preece showed great awareness to speed through and pounce to score against his former club. Moore added the conversion.
Despite playing down the slope, Dewsbury had failed to threaten in the opening 20 minutes but they did manage to hit back and level soon after.
Rob Spicer and Kyle Bibb were both held close, after linking with Brambani and the scrum half was involved again, lofting a lovely weighted kick to the left for Austin Buchanan to leap and gather to score a fine try. Pat Walker landed a terrific touchline goal to get the Rams back on terms.
A lovely Batley move saw Moore chip over the top and the ball held up for Danny Maun to gather and race for the line. Although he was held, Maun popped up a pass for winger Wayne Reittie but he was tackled in front of the posts.
Further sustained Bulldogs pressure saw them regain the advantage a minute before half-time when Moore spotted a gap and showed an excellent turn of pace to race through and score at the side of the posts and he also added the goal.
Dewsbury’s kick off went straight out on the full and when the Rams were penalised for stealing the ball, Moore slotted over a long range penalty to put his side 14-6 up at the break.
Batley extended their lead just nine minutes into the second half as they moved play left, then quickly right, leaving the Rams defence stretched and substitute Mark Toohey crashed over, with Moore adding the goal.
Batley dominated the entire second half and another lovely crossfield kick by Moore was gathered by Daley Williams, who crashed over in the right corner. Moore added a terrific touchline goal to stretch Batley’s lead to 26-6.
Four minutes from full-time Paul Mennell, on his return from a stint playing in Australia, produced a lovely break.
The half-back could probably have scored himself but sent the supporting Preece over for his second try as the Bulldogs completed a handsome victory.
Batley Bulldogs: Preece; Brown, Williams, Maun, Reittie; Handforth, Moore; Smith, Lythe, Martin, Bretherton, Walton, Robinson. Subs: Mennell, Manning, Tootill, Toohey, Lindsay, Hesketh, Potter, Foulstone.
Dewsbury Rams: Craven; Wainwright, Faal, Turner, Buchanan; Walker, Brambani; England, Tonks, Hirst, Spicer, Lockwood, Roberts. Subs: Bibb, Horton, Saxton, Menzies, Shaw, Wilson, Emblem, Glassell.
Referee: Craig Halloran (Heavy Woollen).