Match Report by Luke Winner
A heroic effort by supporters and staff cleared the stadium of snow to enable The Bulldogs to entertain Leigh Centurions in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup but despite an equally brave performance from the home side the visitors held out to progress in the competition.
The game started off strong for the Bulldogs, who put in some great moves, placing the visitors under some intense pressure. Batley were the first ones to get on the score sheet, with Patrick Walker converting a penalty goal early on from a high tackle on Michael Ward. Batley 2 – 0 Leigh.
A few minutes passed and the score still stood at 2 – 0 with the conditions making it hard to control the ball flow. Leigh once again, struggled to cope with Matt Diskin’s men and eventually they were penalised for a ball steal. Patrick Walker opted for the two and converted. Batley 4 – 0 Leigh.
Despite Batley’s early lead, it was soon going to change; as Frederick Bailey raced to the line from a quick succession of passes to score. Jack Owens converted for the visitors. Batley 4 – 6 Leigh.
Every player eventually became unrecognizable, with the pitch being churned over making it a mud bath. Just before half time, both teams had a fair amount of possession, however no-one could make it across the line.
HALF-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 4 – 6 Leigh Centurions.
As the second half got underway, it was a reverse switch; the visitors this time started off strong testing the Bulldogs defence multiple times. Batley came close on various occasions, with Wayne Reittie, Alex Rowe and Brad Day edging close near the try line.
Leigh and Batley both had goal line drop outs earned from brilliant defensive efforts, but despite their best efforts the scores still stayed the same. Moments later, the Bulldogs were pulled for a high shot and Jack Owens’ opted for the two, managing to convert extending the visitors lead by 4.
Neither team managed to get themselves on the score sheet again. However, this doesn’t quite tell the story of a well fought out battle at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium with Batley falling narrowly in the Challenge Cup clash to Leigh Centurions
Full-time: Batley 4 – 8 Leigh.
Batley Xlll – Dave Scott, Wayne Reittie, Danny Cowling, Jason Crookes, Lewis Galbraith, Patrick Walker, Dominic Brambani, Alex Rowe, James Davey, Michael Ward, James Harrison, Brad Day and Joe Chandler.
Interchanges – Tom Hemmingway, James Brown, Keenan Tomlinson and Sam Smeaton.
Leigh – Peter Mata’utia-leifi, Matthew Dawson, Ben Crookes, Rhys Evans, Frederick Bailey, Jack Owens, Drew Hutchison, Paterkia Vaivai, Liam Hood, Nathan mason, Kyle Lovett, Bodene Thompson and Nicholas Gregson.
Interchanges – Micky Higham, Jordan Thompson, Jordan Dezaria and Harrison Hanson