Action shots from Dewsbury Rams' 24-4 Heavy Woollen derby win over Batley Bulldogs.Action shots from Dewsbury Rams' 24-4 Heavy Woollen derby win over Batley Bulldogs.
Action shots from Dewsbury Rams' 24-4 Heavy Woollen derby win over Batley Bulldogs.

Heavy Woollen Derby Action Photos: Contrasting emotions for Dale Ferguson and Mark Moxon as Dewsbury Rams claim bragging rights against Batley Bulldogs

Dale Ferguson hailed his “outstanding” Dewsbury Rams players as they produced a great performance against arch rivals Batley Bulldogs to secure the Heavy Woollen bragging rights on Good Friday.

The Rams delivered an exhilarating display to claim their first competitive victory of 2024, as well as celebrating only their second league win over the Bulldogs in nine attempts - and a first at home since 2018.

Tries from Curtis Davies, Perry Whiteley and a double from Jack Billington did the damage as Ferguson’s men blew the Bulldogs away 24-4, with Joe Burton’s late try a mere consolation.

Ferguson said: “Outstanding. The boys ripped in from the get go and we defended for our lives in the first 15 minutes. We dealt well with the pressure and came away with the first try, which I was really happy about.

“That first try was massive. As a player it is a deflation when you have given a lot and the opposite team keeps putting up with the attack. We defended our line really well. Everyone ripped in for each other, covered each other’s backs and came away with the spoils first.

“From the first 15 minutes, where we grafted really hard and defended a lot, it zapped a lot out of Batley and we just stayed at it.”

The first try was made by the creative Bailey O’Connor. On the youngster’s performance, the head coach added:

“Bailey is a stand out character for us. He is really good in attack and in D sorting numbers.

“He is very elusive and he can sense when there is an opportunity and he takes it really well.”

The Bulldogs’ head coach, Mark Moxon, was left “disappointed” that his side failed to take their chances after dominating the early stages of the contest.

He said: “We are obviously bitterly disappointed with the result. Performance-wise wasn’t great either. We had loads of good ball in the first half but we didn’t manage to take our chances. We didn’t take any chances we had and we did some daft stuff in the second half and presented them with some chances which they took.

“Their first try was against the run of play so to win 6-0 in the first half was a little bit harsh on the way we played to be honest.

“But we said at half time to stick to the process and eventually we will crack them but we didn’t stick to that process in the second half and we did some stupid stuff which let them out.

“But all credit to Dewsbury. I thought they were great and did everything right. They hung in there and when they got their chances they took them. All credit to Dewsbury.

“They’re off the mark and we’re still looking for our first win.”

Batley will look to get their first league win of the season when they travel to Halifax Panthers next Sunday, while the Rams will be looking to build on this victory when they entertain Widnes Vikings on the same day.

Take a look at these photos from today’s Heavy Woollen derby between Dewsbury Rams and Batley Bulldogs, courtesy of Thomas Fynn.