Rams target derby hat-trick at Batley

James Glover attempts to set up a Dewsbury Rams attack during last Sunday's 40-7 Championship Shield victory over Swinton Lions. Pic: Paul Butterfield
James Glover attempts to set up a Dewsbury Rams attack during last Sunday's 40-7 Championship Shield victory over Swinton Lions. Pic: Paul Butterfield

Dewsbury Rams will target a third successive Heavy Woollen derby success of the season on Sunday when they make the short trip to Batley Bulldogs for their second fixture in the Betfred Championship Shield.

The Rams overcame Batley 20-18 at the Summer Bash in Blackpool and edged out the Bulldogs 23-20 at Tetley’s Stadium in the penultimate round of the regular season.

Neil Kelly’s side also go into the game buoyed by last week’s 40-7 victory over Swinton Lions when the Rams ran in 34 unanswered points to turn round a 7-6 half-time deficit.

Victory leaves the Rams seven points clear of the bottom two sides, Swinton and Rochdale, with six matches remaining.

Dewsbury can also move within a point of the seventh placed Bulldogs with victory on Sunday.

Speaking after last Sunday’s game, Kelly said: “We just had to get our completion rate right, run better lines and defend a bit better than we had done.

“Everyone had to chip in, they did and they got their reward. It was a really good, comprehensive second-half performance.”

Adam Ryder recovered from an early knock to return to the field and produced a man-of-the-match display, earning praise from his coach.

Kelly added: “Adam Ryder played well and Dom Speakman made a difference when he had a sustained period at hooker. He took us forward when maybe we were struggling to go forward.”

Although the Rams are not yet mathematically safe from relegation, Kelly knows it would take a huge turn around in form for Swinton and Rochdale to overhaul them.

He added: “I don’t want to be too complacent and say we are safe, but we should be. I can’t see them winning four of their last six.”

Scrum-half Gareth Moore came through last week’s game unscathed on his return from injury, while Toby Everett and Macauley Hallett could come back into contention on Sunday.

Batley will play in a one-off pink strip at Sunday’s derby as part of their annual breast cancer fundraising weekend.

The Bulldogs are hosting a number of activities across the weekend and there will be added entertainment at Sunday’s game with bouncy castles, a ducking stool, stocks to drench your enemies in and stalls.

Sammy King will also be performing his hit song Penny Arcade live before kick off.