Bulldogs take derby spoils with victory over Rams

Brad Day scored Batley's second try in the derby win over Dewsbury.
Brad Day scored Batley's second try in the derby win over Dewsbury.

Batley Bulldogs took the Heavy Woollen derby honours on Good Friday with an 18-10 victory over Dewsbury Rams to claim a third success in the Betfred Championship.

The game was in the balance at half-time with Batley leading 10-6 having played down the slope but they piled on the pressure after the break and deservedly completed the win.

Dewsbury would have been buoyed having restricted Batley to just two first half tries but they were poor after the break and managed a completion rate of just 48 per cent in the second half, as Batley dominated.

The game was lit up with a spectacular seventh minute try by Rams winger Dale Morton — who has just signed a contract extension keeping him at the club until the end of 2019.

Morton intercepted a Batley pass and stormed 90 metres up the slope, outpacing the covering run of Jason Crookes to dive over. Paul Sykes was unable to convert.

Batley looked to have hit back when Brad Day drove for the line but was held up by the terrific Rams defence.

The Bulldogs did draw level after 25 minutes when Dave Scott fed Sam Smeaton and he offloaded for winger Wayne Reittie to dive in at the corner for a well worked try.

Dewsbury were forced to drop out on Batley’s next attack and although Sykes’s kick went beyond halfway, Batley stormed down the slope.

Dominic Brambani fed Patch Walker and the stand off slipped a lovely pass to send Day storming through a gap and over for the try.

Walker converted for his 400th point in Batley colours and the Bulldogs led 10-4.

On the stroke of half-time, Dewsbury were awarded a penalty and as the hooter sounded, Sykes hammered over the goal from just inside the Batley half to give his side real hope.

An early second half Rams attack saw a wayward pass go into touch from a promising position and from there Batley mounted a sustained spell of pressure.

James Brown had a drive held up between the posts, while Michael Ward was also prevented from grounding the ball after Dewsbury were forced to drop out.

The Rams defence had done well to repel Batley but the pressure finally told on the hour mark when the Bulldogs created an overlap on the left and Crookes dived in at the corner with Walker landing a terrific touchline goal.

It wasn’t until the latter stages that Dewsbury finally threatened.

Harry Woollard spun out of a tackle and attempted to stretch for the line but Dewsbury frustrations grew when he was penalised for not playing the ball correctly.

Dewsbury finally hit back with the best move of the match four minutes from time as Sykes produced a lovely runaround move to feed Josh Guzdek and he sent winger Rob Worrincy diving in at the corner.

Dewsbury allowed the resulting kick off to bounce dead and when Sykes’s drop out failed to go 10 metres it allowed Walker to land the simple penalty goal to ensure the Bulldogs earned the bragging rights.

Batley Bulldogs: Scott; Reittie, Smeaton, Galbraith, Crookes; Walker, Brambani; M Ward, Leak, Rowe, Harrison, B Day, J Farrell. Subs: Hemingway, J Brown, Manning, Holland.

Dewsbury Rams: Guzdek; Worrincy, Woollard, Hallett, Morton; Sykes, Speakman; Everett, R Ward, Reilly, Walshaw, Spicer, A Brown. Subs: S Day, Ansell, Sheriffe, Trout.

Referee: Tom Crashley.

Attendance: 1,117.