The Bulldogs came away from Rochdale with a hard earned victory in an ill tempered game which saw two red and two yellow cards.
Match Report from Luke Winner:
The hooter sounded and Rochdale Hornets kicked the game underway. Batley made it just near halfway on their first set of the game meaning a high kick on the last went into the air testing the Hornets catching abilities; the ball was taken well and Rochdale had their first set. Reittie looked to have gone flying over in the far corner after some brilliant Bulldogs effort, however the Referee called the play back and disallowed the try stating a forward pass occurred previously. Later, both teams were forcing too much pressure on each other, with Batley and Rochdale switching penalties for messing within the ruck; as Rochdale was the last to have the penalty, they were sure to make up for their past mistake with Foster feeding to Crowley, who then plays on to Eccleston, who dummied his way over on the right flank. Conversion failed. Score: Rochdale 4 – 0 Batley.
Batley came through with some great possession and defensive structure forcing Hornets deep in their half each time. Middlehurst had possession on the last and chips through but the ref spots an infringement and Rochdale gained a penalty under the sticks. From the penalty Rochdale opted for the two and the conversion was successful by Yates. Score: Rochdale 6 – 0 Batley.
With the hosts taking the lead early on the Bulldogs had to hit back with a reply to prevent their opponents growing in confidence. Great hands created an overlap, as Scott stepped a defender to score. This brought the score to: Rochdale 6 – 6 Batley with the kick being converted by Walker.
Almost 15 minutes went by with both teams struggling to keep possession and have a full set with the ball, as the Hornets and Bulldogs traded knock on after knock on. Batley were handed a team warning as the pressure and frustration grew and grew; Hornets were handed back to back penalties which saw them on the visitors 20m line. Kevin Penney found space on the flank and dived in at the flag. The kick was struggled with by Yates. Score Rochdale 10 – 6 Batley.
Two minutes remaining since half time and Batley almost looked to be heading into the second half falling 10 – 6 after some strong offensive and defensive pressure from the hosts. Hands from right to left and Ainscough finished off the move from a Crookes offload. Walker added the extras. Score: Rochdale 10 – 12 Batley. The Bulldogs worked hard as the final seconds ticked and ended up just short of half way; the Referee awarded a penalty now placing the Bulldogs, 20m on the Rochdale line. The hooter sounds as the last play gets carried out.
Half-time: Rochdale Hornets 10 – 12 Batley Bulldogs
The hooter sounded and the second half is kicked underway by Wayne Reittie. It was a hard start for the hosts as Matty Hadden threw a forward pass, despite a simple error they were fast to react and grab the ball back after a wayward pass by the Bulldogs. From this point on it was the Batley ball as they gain multiple penalties on the Rochdale line, it was only a matter of time before a gap was found. Alex Bretherton lands beautifully in the corner, diving with the ball in one hand and his feet in the air. Walker Converted the kick. Score: Rochdale 10 – 18 Batley.
The Bulldogs went over again 10 minutes later as Walker kicked a well-placed grubber, which met Jason Crookes. Walker converts. Score: Rochdale 10 – 22 Batley. However, tempers flared as players from both teams are shown the cards: Jason Crookes (Red), Gary Middleshurst (Red) and Ben Moores (Yellow) with Jordan Case (Yellow) minutes later.
A knock on leaked in their opponent’s line after the penalty. With only 10 men on the field for the Hornets, they noticed an overlap out wide and Yates carried out the try. Foster failed the conversion. Score: Rochdale 14 – 22 Batley.
It goes from bad to worse for the hosts as Lewis Foster was helped off joining his team mate, Jono Smith who left earlier on due to a crunching tackle. Batley were now taking control of the flow of the game and scored on the bounce with Dave Scott and Alex Bretherton going over for the final tries. Walker nailed both conversions.
Full-time: Rochdale 14 – 34 Batley Bulldogs.
Rochdale 13 – Declan Kay. Kevin Penny, Jake Eccleston, Lewis Galbraith, Chris Riley
so: Lewis Foster, Danny Yates, Jovili Taira, Ben Moores, Anthony Walker, Jono Smith, Josh Crowley, Gary Middlehurst
Interchange – Ryan Maneely, Gavin Bennion, Matty Hadden and Jordan Case.
Batley Bulldogs 13 – Dave Scott, Wayne Reittie, Sam Smeaton, Jason Crookes, Shaun Ainscough, Pat Walker, Dominic Brambani, Adam Gledhill, Alistair Leak, Tom Lillycrop, Dane Manning, Alex Bretherton, Bradley Day
Interchange – Alex Rowe, Joel Farrell, James Davey, James Brown
Tries: Jake Eccleston, Kevin Penny, Danny Yates,
Goals: Danny Yates,
Tries: Dave Scott 2, Shaun Ainscough, Alex Bretherton 2, Jason Crookes,
Goals: Pat Walker 5,
Pictures courtesy and copyright of Neville Wright.