Match report by Luke Winner.
Batley travelled to the AJ Bell Stadium, to take on Swinton Lions in their 2nd round of the Betfred Championship season.
The Lions started the game off strong, prodding each part of the Batley defence till eventually they found the weakness they were looking for as Mike Butt crashed over. Hankinson struggled to convert for the hosts.
With Swinton pushing the pressure early on, the Bulldogs needed a swift response. Lewis Galbraith brought the Bulldogs back in line with Swinton, going over from multiple sets earned. Walker missed the conversion.
Just before half-time a flurry of tries flooded in from both teams as Wayne Reittie ran 60 metres to score with Adam Gledhill and Lewis Galbraith following seconds later. Walker converted two out of three
Stuart Littlers side made sure that they wouldn’t be silenced before the hooter sounded with Jack Hansen and Chris Hankinson conceding for the Lions. Hankinson converted both.
HALF-TIME: Swinton Lions 16 – 20 Batley Bulldogs.
Matt Diskin’s men got the game back underway with a bang, as once again Michael Ward almost crashed over from close range, taking at least 4 Swinton men to bring him down. However, it wasn’t long after that Michael Ward couldn’t be stopped. Walker converted.
Batley were taking full control of the game as once more, Lewis Galbraith shipped the ball away to Michael Ward who grabbed his second of the day. Brad Day joined the frenzy as the ball was passed down from seven hands placing Day over nicely. Walker converted one out of the two.
Swinton’s defence began crumbling, with Patch Walker breaking down the play with slow hands, as Dave Scott collected the pass scoring from close range. Walker converted. Swinton 16 – 42 Batley.
Some sloppy tackling from the Bulldogs, as their defence switched off allowing Luke Waterworth to score for the Lions. Hankinson didn’t miss the kick. Swintons’ Sarsfield came in from support confusing the Bulldogs defenders going across on a repeat set. Hankinson converted the kick.
Alistair Leak was the last to join the try cluster for the Bulldogs, after dancing over from dummy half, finishing off the game. Walker missed the conversion.
FULL-TIME: Swinton Lions 28 – 48 Batley Bulldogs.
Swinton Xlll – Gabriel Fell, Mike Butt, Chris Hankinson, Rhodri Loyld, Liam Forysth, Josh Woods, Jack Hansen, Andy Bareck, Luke Waterworth, Luke Shelford, Macauley Davies, Matt Sarsfield and Gavin Bennion.
Interchanges – Josh Barlow, Hayden Hansen, Samy Kibula and Conor Taylor.
Batley Xlll – David Scott, Wayne Reittie, Jason Crookes, Lewis Galbraith, Shaun Ainscough, Patch Walker, Dominic Brambani, Adam Gledhill, Alistair Leak, Alex Rowe, Dave Manning, Brad Day and a James Brown.
Interchanges – Joe Chandler, James Davey, Tommy Holland and Michael Ward.