Match Report by Luke Winner.
Matt Diskin’s men got the double header underway at the Rochdale Hornets, Crown Oil Arena, winning 48-10 with a rematch soon to follow next week at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.
Batley’s start to the game wasn’t the prettiest, with the hosts making ground into the visitors’ half quickly. It didn’t take long for the Hornets to place themselves on the scoresheet as Declan Kay collected the ball from some fast passing to send him over. Whittaker failed to convert.
10 minutes in and Batley shook up the hosts by responding, as they began to take full control of how the game flowed. Alex Rowe came close to the line, after causing a ruckus among the oppositions line but was deemed to be held up. Fellow prop Michael Ward, rammed his way through from close range moments later taking multiple defenders across with him. Walker added the extras.
Rochdale couldn’t seem to cope with what was a rampant Bulldogs pack, leading their way to the score line. A quick play the ball from Joel Farrell enabled Patrick Walker to go down on the short side and pass to Crookes who completed with a dive into the corner. Walker converted.
Brad Day and former Hornets player Lewis Galbraith increased the score, just before half time after slicing through their hosts defence. Walker managed to keep his 100% record, converting both.
HALF-TIME: Rochdale Hornets 4 – 24 Batley Bulldogs.
Unfortunately for Rochdale, things were only going to get worse, despite Galbraith being sinbinned early into the second half for backchat to referee Stavely. Shaun Ainscough ran 50m after intercepting a wide pass by the Hornets who attempted to keep the game alive. Walker converted.
Izaac Farrell made his re-appearance after missing last week’s game, dancing left to right scoring from close range. Walker slotted the ball over again.
Alan Kilshaw’s side showed a glimpse of their skill, breaking down the Bulldogs defence slowly, for Declan Kay to reach over and score his second of the day. Whittaker converted.
Jonah Cunningham was sent to the bin for a professional foul due holding down too long on Ainscough in the tackle. Fullback Dave Scott, made the break for the Bulldogs which saw him being tackled just inches from the line. In the next set Izaac Farrell found Adam Gledhill on his shoulder, that sent him bulldozing over. Farrell this time added the extras.
Alex Rowe and Dominic Brambani showcased some brilliant Batley teamwork as Rowe drove the ball forward to fling a pass out to Brambani in support silencing the hosts for the final time. Farrell converted.
FULL-TIME: Rochdale Hornets 10 – 48 Batley Bulldogs
Batley Xlll – Dave Scott, Shaun Ainscough, Daniel Cowling, Lewis Galbraith, Jason Crookes, Patrick Walker, Izaac Farrell, Adam Gledhill, Alistair Leak, Alex Rowe, James Harrison, Joel Farrell and Brad Day.
Interchange – Michael Ward, Sam Smeaton, Dominic Brambani and Joe Chandler.
Rochdale Xlll – Declan Kay, setareki Talatoka, Deon Cross, Jordan Symes, Rob Massam, Tyler Whittaker, Danny Yates, Blake Turner, Jonah Cunningham, Patrick Moran, Lee Mitchell, David Allen and Billy Brickhill.
Interchanges – Morgan Smith, Jovilisi Taira, Matthew Hadden and Luis Johnson.