Betfred Challenge Cup Second Round – Kick-Off Times and Coverage

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All four Second Round ties in the Betfred Challenge Cup will be streamed live and free next weekend.

The BBC will show two ties for the second round running, both on Sunday (March 28) – the local derby between Swinton Lions and Oldham at 1230pm, followed by London Broncos versus York City Knights at 230pm.

That follows their coverage of the First Round ties between West Wales Raiders and Widnes Vikings, and Featherstone Rovers versus Bradford Bulls.

The matches will again be broadcast live on BBC iPlayer, Red Button and BBC Sport digital platforms.

The other two ties will be streamed on www.TheSportsman.com, YouTube and Facebook.

The West Yorkshire derby between Featherstone Rovers and Batley Bulldogs, who were the first ever Challenge Cup winners in 1897, will be shown next Saturday, March 27, with a 1245pm kick-off.

The Second Round will be completed when Widnes Vikings host Whitehaven on Sunday (March 28) with a 5pm kick-off.

The Sportsman is a sports news and features website and began its Betfred Challenge Cup coverage by streaming York’s First Round win against Sheffield Eagles at the Keepmoat Stadium last Friday night.

The eight teams in the Second Draw will be battling for a double prize, as the four winners not only secure a place in the Third Round of the Betfred Challenge Cup – when they will be joined by the 12 Betfred Super League clubs.

They will also qualify for the Semi Finals of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup, the competition for non-Super League clubs with a Final at Wembley on Betfred Challenge Cup Final day, Saturday July 17 – meaning the eight teams in the Second Round of the Betfred Challenge Cup next weekend are two wins from playing at Wembley.

Mark Foster, the RFL’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “After such a successful First Round weekend, which marked the first competitive action for more than a year for the 16 clubs involved, we’re delighted to have secured coverage of all four Second Round ties.

“To have two ties broadcast live by the BBC for the second consecutive round is another significant boost for the profile of the Betfred Challenge Cup and the clubs outside the Super League, as the focus sharpens on which four clubs will earn places in the Third Round when the network coverage begins.

“The BBC coverage of Gavin Henson’s Rugby League debut for West Wales Raiders, followed by the heavyweight battle between Featherstone and Bradford, helped to generate unprecedented interest in the First Round weekend.

“We were also delighted by the reaction to the first live streaming by TheSportsman.com for the Sheffield-York tie on Friday night, and it’s great that they will be able to double that commitment in the Second Round by showing the other two ties.

“With the Our League platform allowing us to stream the other five First Round ties, and all the fixtures in the early rounds of the Betfred Championship starting with seven matches over the Easter weekend, we have also been able to allow clubs to recoup some of the significant costs of staging matches behind closed doors – either by offering greater value to their season ticket holders, or by introducing Earlybird rates and day or weekend passes to watch matches.

“The revenue generated for all matches so far has comfortably exceeded production costs, and we are hopeful that more fans at all levels will join our growing Our League membership, which is now more than 170,000, to watch the quality Rugby League available in Betfred Championship, League 1 and the Challenge Cup.”

 

Betfred Challenge Cup, Second Round

Saturday 27 March

Featherstone Rovers v Batley Bulldogs, 1245pm – on TheSportsman.com website, YouTube & Facebook

Sunday 28 March

Swinton Lions v Oldham, 1230pm – BBC Sport Online, iPlayer & Red Button

London Broncos v York City Knights, 230pm – BBC Sport Online, iPlayer & Red Button

Widnes Vikings v Whitehaven, 5pm – The Sportsman website, YouTube & Facebook

Third Round: April 9-11

Quarter Finals: May 8-9

Semi Finals: June 5

Final (Wembley Stadium connected by EE): Saturday July 17

 

AB Sundecks 1895 Cup

Semi Finals: June 5-6

Final (Wembley Stadium connected by EE): Saturday July 17

 

20 more Betfred Championship matches scheduled for Our League coverage

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The Betfred Championship clubs have agreed a fixture schedule for rounds two to four of the competition from April 17 – May 2 which will allow another 20 matches to be streamed on Our League.

The schedule includes the first home game of the season for Toulouse Olympique against London Broncos on Saturday April 17, a derby between Bradford Bulls and Halifax Panthers the following day, and consecutive home fixtures for Championship newcomers Newcastle Thunder against Sheffield Eagles on April 24 and Batley Bulldogs on May 2.

All of these games will once again be shown on Our League, free to the Season Ticket Holders of the home club, with all fans able to watch on Pay Per View.

Streaming passes will go on sale in the next couple of weeks, after the initial block of pre-season matches and the First Round of the Betfred Challenge Cup.

Day and weekend passes will again be made available at ÂŁ15 and ÂŁ20, and with the same Earlybird offer of ÂŁ4-95 for each game.

The full schedule for the first four rounds of the Betfred Championship is listed below. There is one change to the opening round, with Halifax Panthers’ home game against London Broncos brought forward to Good Friday with a 5pm kick-off.

All profit from these PPV games goes to the participating clubs – allowing them to make up crucial lost income from having to play matches behind closed doors in the early stages of the 2021 season.

To see the list of fixtures that will be streamed in the next three weeks, click here Rugby-League.com (rugby-league.com)

 

Betfred Championship, Round One: 

Good Friday, April 2: Halifax Panthers v London Broncos (5pm), Oldham v Swinton Lions (515pm), Featherstone Rovers v Batley Bulldogs (730pm).

Easter Saturday, April 3: York City Knights v Toulouse Olympique (515pm), Dewsbury Rams v Whitehaven (730pm).

Easter Sunday, April 4: Sheffield Eagles v Bradford Bulls (1245pm, Keepmoat Stadium), Newcastle Thunder v Widnes Vikings (515pm)

 

Betfred Championship, Round Two

Sat 17 April 12:45 Batley Bulldogs Oldham
Sat 17 April 15:00 Toulouse Olympique London Broncos
Sat 17 April 17:15 Widnes Vikings Dewsbury Rams
Sun 18 April 12:45 Swinton Lions Featherstone Rovers
Sun 18 April 15:00 Whitehaven Newcastle Thunder
Sun 18 April 17:15 Bradford Bulls Halifax Panthers
Sun 18 April 19:30 York City Knights Sheffield Eagles

 

Betfred Championship, Round Three

Sat 24 April 14:00 London Broncos Oldham
Sat 24 April 16:00 Batley Bulldogs Widnes Vikings
Sun 25 April 12:45 Swinton Lions York City Knights
Sun 25 April 15:00 Featherstone Rovers Whitehaven
Sun 25 April 15:00 Halifax Panthers Toulouse Olympique
Sun 25 April 17:15 Newcastle Thunder Sheffield Eagles
Sun 25 April 19:30 Bradford Bulls Dewsbury Rams

 

Betfred Championship, Round Four

Sat 1 May 12:45 Oldham Halifax Panthers
Sat 1 May 15:00 Sheffield Eagles London Broncos
Sun 2 May 12:45 Newcastle Thunder Batley Bulldogs
Sun 2 May 15:00 Whitehaven Bradford Bulls
Sun 2 May 17:15 Widnes Vikings Swinton Lions
Sun 2 May 19:30 Dewsbury Rams York City Knights

 

Betfred Challenge Cup, First Round:

Friday March 19 – Sheffield Eagles v York City Knights (7:45pm live from Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster – coverage on thesportsman.com).

Saturday March 20 – Oldham v Barrow Raiders (1245pm), London Broncos v Keighley Cougars (3pm), Whitehaven v Dewsbury Rams (515pm), Halifax Panthers v Batley Bulldogs (730pm) – all matches live on Our League, free to home season ticket holders, otherwise Pay Per View (see link and details below).

Sunday March 21 – West Wales Raiders v Widnes Vikings (1245pm), Featherstone Rovers v Bradford Bulls (3pm) – both live on BBC Sport and iPlayer. Swinton Lions v Newcastle Thunder (515pm, live on Our League – Pay Per View).

Spring streaming bonanza to kick off the 2021 season

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The 2021 Rugby League season will begin with a feast of Betfred Challenge Cup action next month as all eight First Round ties will be streamed across three platforms.
And it will be a similar story when the Betfred Championship kicks off over the Easter weekend two weeks later, with all seven fixtures in the opening round available to watch through Our League, on both web & app – and now with the option to cast to TV to enjoy all the action on the big screen.
That means a Super Saturday on March 20, with four Challenge Cup fixtures streamed back to back on Our League – followed by another three live-streamed ties on Sunday March 21, with the BBC expanding their First Round coverage to show West Wales Raiders versus Widnes Vikings as well as the heavyweight West Yorkshire battle between Featherstone Rovers and Bradford Bulls.
There will be another triple header on Easter Sunday, as Our League streams three consecutive Championship fixtures from 1245pm to 7pm: Sheffield Eagles versus Bradford Bulls, Halifax Panthers v London Broncos, and Newcastle Thunder’s return to the competition against Widnes Vikings.
With early-season fixtures expected to be played behind closed doors, all Our League matches will be free to season ticket holders of the home club, with special Early Bird offers for all other supporters meaning fans can watch games for only £4.95 – as well as Day and Weekend Passes offering some great value for money deals (full details below).

Sheffield Eagles and York City Knights will have the honour of kicking off the 2021 Rugby League season with their Betfred Challenge Cup First Round tie on Friday March 19.
The clash between Mark Aston’s Eagles – who famously won the Challenge Cup at Wembley in 1998, and returned to win the inaugural AB Sundecks 1895 Cup in 2019 – and James Ford’s highly-fancied York team has been selected by the new tournament sponsors, Betfred, for live online coverage – with further details to follow next week.
Super Saturday (March 20) begins at 1245pm with Oldham versus Barrow Raiders, followed by London Broncos v Keighley Cougars (3pm), Whitehaven v Dewsbury Rams (515m) and finally Halifax’s first game as the Panthers, against Batley Bulldogs at The Shay (730pm).
On Sunday lunchtime the focus switches to West Wales, with the former rugby union international Gavin Henson and the former England rugby league international Rangi Chase hoping to make their debuts for the Raiders against Widnes at Stebonheath Park (1245pm).
That will be followed by the Featherstone-Bradford tie, also streamed by the BBC, with the First Round completed by Newcastle’s trip to Heywood Road to face Swinton Lions (515pm) on Our League.

The Betfred Championship campaign will begin on Good Friday with Oldham and Swinton Lions renewing their traditional Easter rivalry (515pm), followed by a West Yorkshire battle between Featherstone Rovers and Batley Bulldogs (730pm).
There are two more games on Easter Saturday, as York City Knights play their first game at the new LNER Stadium against Toulouse Olympique (515pm) before Dewsbury face Whitehaven for the second time in a fortnight, this time at the Tetley’s Stadium (730pm).
With the remaining three games on Easter Sunday, there will be no clashes with the Betfred Super League programme that weekend – meaning fans can watch more matches over Easter than ever.
Details of the Second Round of the Betfred Challenge Cup, which will be played on the weekend of March 27-28, will be confirmed after the First Round ties, while detailed arrangements for further rounds of the Betfred Championship in April will be delayed until there is further clarity on the timetable for the return of fans to grounds.

Betfred Challenge Cup, First Round:
Friday March 19 – Sheffield Eagles v York City Knights (7:45pm live from Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster – coverage tbc).
Saturday March 20 – Oldham v Barrow Raiders (1245pm), London Broncos v Keighley Cougars (3pm), Whitehaven v Dewsbury Rams (515pm), Halifax Panthers v Batley Bulldogs (730pm) – all matches live on Our League, free to home season ticket holders, otherwise Pay Per View (see link and details below).
Sunday March 21 – West Wales Raiders v Widnes Vikings (1245pm), Featherstone Rovers v Bradford Bulls (3pm) – both streamed live on BBC. Swinton Lions v Newcastle Thunder (515pm, live on Our League, free to home season ticket holders, otherwise Pay Per View – see link and details below .

Betfred Championship, Round One:
Good Friday, April 2: Oldham v Swinton Lions (515pm), Featherstone Rovers v Batley Bulldogs (730pm).
Easter Saturday, April 3: York City Knights v Toulouse Olympique (515pm), Dewsbury Rams v Whitehaven (730pm).
Easter Sunday, April 4: Sheffield Eagles v Bradford Bulls (1245pm, Keepmoat Stadium), Halifax Panthers v London Broncos (3pm), Newcastle Thunder v Widnes Vikings (515pm)
All 7 matches live on Our League, free to home season ticket holders, otherwise Pay Per View – see link and details below.

Our League 2021
Matches played behind closed doors in both the First Round of the Betfred Challenge Cup and Round One of the Betfred Championship will be available to watch either through Betfred or the BBC, or through the RFL’s Our League Web & App.
Our League fixtures will be free to season ticket holders of the home club.
Season Ticket Holders will receive their access codes ahead of the first fixture directly from their club.
Other Rugby League fans – including supporters of the away club – will be able to secure the live coverage for an Early Bird price of £4.95, which increases to £10 on the day of the match.
A Day Pass will cost ÂŁ15 and secure live coverage of all fixtures on a given day (for example four Betfred Challenge Cup ties on Saturday March 20).
A Weekend Pass will cost ÂŁ20 and secure live coverage of all the matches being shown on Our League in a full round (for example five of the eight Betfred Challenge Cup ties on March 20-21, and all seven matches in Round One of the Betfred Championship from April 2-4).
For full details and to buy your tickets, click here : https://www.rugby-league.com/livestream

2021 Season – Update

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The Betfred Championship and League 1 clubs considered a number of options for the 2021 season at a virtual meeting on Wednesday evening.

The consensus reached was that the Betfred Championship season could and should be delayed by several weeks from the scheduled start of late February, in recognition of the current public health situation and the likely implications on the return of fans to elite sport.

For similar reasons, the Betfred League 1 clubs were supportive of a longer delay to the start of their season, which will now begin later in the spring.

That will also allow a staggered return to training following the pause advised by the RFL last week in response to the latest Lockdown, which will also take into account the needs of players to prepare thoroughly after such a long lay-off.

Betfred Championship clubs have been cleared to return from this weekend (Saturday January 16), but initially only for “Stage 1 plus” – which permits socially distanced (non-contact) training outdoors – with the intention of moving to “Stage 2”, with contact training permitted, from February 1.

Betfred League 1 clubs will be cleared to begin a similar staged process in February – with all clubs at each level required to satisfy the RFL that that they are able to meet strict conditions regarding testing and biosecurity.

Discussions over a delayed return date for Academy and Scholarship programmes have also been held with the relevant Betfred Super League and Championship clubs this week, and all clubs, players and coaches will now be updated before an announcement in the next week.

England Women’s scheduled return to training this weekend has been postponed by a week, and further discussions will be held with Betfred Women’s Super League clubs this week about their pre-season training schedule.

Further details of the schedule for the 2021 Betfred Championship and League 1, including the early rounds of the Challenge Cup, will be published over the weekend, following further feedback from the clubs and consultation with the RFL Board – with fixture lists to follow.

Ralph Rimmer, the RFL Chief Executive, said: “We have been grateful to our clubs throughout the last 10 months for their responsible and constructive approach to such a challenging period for all, and Wednesday’s meeting was another example of that.
There remains a desire and determination, from the RFL as well as clubs, to get back on the field as soon as is safely possible. However there is also a recognition of the need to be responsible at this time.
A staged return to pre-season training, after the short pause advised last week, followed by a staggered start to the Betfred Championship and League 1 seasons, represents the best way for us to combine this responsibility with other priorities of player welfare and the financial sustainability of our clubs.
This approach extends to the Academy and Scholarship programmes, which are so important to the future health of the game as well as the mental health of the youngsters involved – and we will confirm shortly a similar approach for the Betfred Women’s Super League.”

Betfred Championship scheduled for February return

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The RFL can today confirm the preferred structure of the 2021 season for Betfred Championship and League 1, and also a new format for the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup.

The clubs held a virtual meeting last Friday, and while agreeing on the need to maintain flexibility given the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Covid-19, all recognised the importance of providing players and supporters with a clear plan.

The intention is for the season to begin with the return of the Betfred Championship on the weekend of February 27-28 – meaning a first fixture in more than 11 months for 14 clubs including Newcastle Thunder, who will take the place vacated by Leigh’s elevation to the Betfred Super League.

Clubs have already agreed that games played behind closed doors will be streamed live on the RFL’s Our League platforms (app & website) on a pay per view basis, allowing supporters to watch fixtures even if they cannot attend in person – with home season ticket holders given free access to the live stream packages for their Clubs league games.

The opening Championship round will be followed by the first two rounds of the Challenge Cup on the first two weekends of March, with the 10 clubs from Betfred League 1 kicking off their campaigns in the First Round joined by four Championship clubs, to produce seven winners who will join the other nine English Championship clubs in the Second Round the following week*. see notes below

That will produce eight winners who will contest four Third Round ties two weeks later to produce four clubs to join the 12 Betfred Super League clubs in the last 16 in April.

Those four teams will also qualify for the semi finals of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup, the competition introduced for non-Super League clubs in 2019 to provide a second and more realistic opportunity of playing on Challenge Cup Final day at Wembley.

In 2021, the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup semi finals are again scheduled to be played on the same weekend as the Challenge Cup semi finals in June, with the Final at Wembley on Saturday July 17.

The late February start will allow a 26-round campaign in the Betfred Championship, meaning each of the 14 clubs will be scheduled to play the other 13 home and away – leading to a Play-Off for the top six teams, and the ÂŁ1M Game in October.

Full details of the league campaign will be determined early in the New Year, when a decision will also be made about whether it is practical to hold the Betfred Championship Summer Bash in 2021.

Betfred League 1 will be an 18-round competition, with each of the 10 clubs playing the other nine home and away. Details of the Betfred League 1 Play-Offs, and of promotion and relegation between the two competitions, will be confirmed in the New Year.

It has also been agreed that the league table in each competition will be determined on a points percentage system, as with Betfred Super League in 2020, in recognition of the likelihood of Covid-19 remaining a factor. Again, full details of this will be finalised in the New Year, along with the testing procedures for clubs.

*Notes

Toulouse Olympique will not participate in the Challenge Cup or the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup in 2021.

The draw for the First and Second Rounds have been scheduled for w/c 4 January.

Fixtures for Betfred Championship and League 1 are scheduled to be announced in mid-January.

2021 schedule – summary

February 27-28: Betfred Championship, Round 1

March 6-7: Challenge Cup, Round 1

March 13-14: Challenge Cup, Round 2

March 20-21: Betfred League 1, Round 1

March 27-28: Challenge Cup, Round 3

April 9-11: Challenge Cup, Round 4 (Betfred Super League clubs enter)

Boardroom Upgrade!

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Christian's Carpets Leeds

A fantastic new wooden floor has been laid in the Boardroom at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium, supplied and fitted by club sponsor Christian’s Carpets of Leeds, and funded by the hugely successful club held every Tuesday morning

As well as a playing a vital part on Matchdays for visiting guests and sponsors, the room is the weekly hub of the Breakfast Club in addition to being used countless meeting and groups every week.

Simon Christian, pictured in his new Ravensport supplied workwear, and his team worked tirelessly to complete the job in just a couple of days this week to cause minimum disruption.

Izaac Farrell Joins Batley Bulldogs

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Half-back Izaac Farrell joins Batley Bulldogs on a season long loan from Huddersfield Giants.

More details to follow…

Bulldogs 20-28 Toulouse

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A Wayne Reittie double wasn’t enough to claim the points as Toulouse Olympique claimed a 28-20 victory over Batley at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.

On the back of the defeat against Dewsbury at last weekend’s Summer Bash, Batley welcomed in-form French side Toulouse who were sitting 2nd in the Kingstone Press Championship table.

Early opportunities were hard to come by with both sides proving resolute with Smeaton denied on the ten minute mark by crucial Toulouse defending.

Then, against the run of play, Toulouse broke clear for the first time and Stanislas Robin was able to score the opening try of the game in the away side’s first dangerous attack. Khierallah added the conversion to make it 0-6.

Batley continued to apply pressure and were soon rewarded after a perfectly weighted kick by Brambani set free Wayne Reittie to finish superbly. Brambani brought the game level with the conversion.

On the half hour mark, Toulouse were penalised for a dangerous tackle on prop forward Alex Rowe. Brambani stepped up and took the two points on offer to give Batley a deserved lead.

Soon after, Toulouse were penalised for offside and Brambani had another opportunity from a similar position to add to Batley’s tally. Brambani, this time, hit the post.

On the brink of half time, Batley finished off a fine opening fourty minutes in style after Wayne Reittie crashed over in the corner for his second of the game. On the hooter, Brambani, from the touchline, added a perfect conversion to give the Bulldogs a stronghold in the game.

HALF TIME: Batley Bulldogs 14-6 Toulouse Olympique.

Batley started the second half the stronger but it was Toulouse who were first over the line. A quick break allowed Marcon to score out wide. Khierallah missed the opportunity to add the extras.

From kick off, Toulouse scored again after a break from half way. This time, Marion finished off a fine move by the visitors to bring the game level. Toulouse took the lead after Robin added the conversion.

Batley’s pressure continued and were nearly over through James Brown soon after but his knock on ensured that Toulouse would survive the mounting pressure once more.

On the hour mark, Batley made the extensive pressure pay as Shaun Ainscough crashed over from close range to put the Bulldogs back ahead. Brambani added the extra two points to give Batley a four point lead.

Then, Toulouse stretched clear after Batley failed to deal with a kick and Constantine Mika finished off a scrappy move. Robin added the conversion to put the away side ahead once more.

More Batley pressure was well dealt with and Toulouse finished the game off soon after. Kane Bentley scored from close range for the away side. The conversion was added to give Toulouse an eight point lead.

Batley looked to grab more points at the death but the defence by the French side remained resilient.

FULL TIME: Batley Bulldogs 20-28 Toulouse Olympique

Batley 12-13 Dewsbury

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Batley Bulldogs succumbed to a 13-12 defeat at the hands of Dewsbury Rams who completed a league double in the Heavy Woolen Derby.

Dewsbury opened the scoring through James Glover who kicked a penalty from close range under the sticks to take a 2-0 lead inside the opening five minutes.

Dom Brambani’s dangerous tackle earned himself ten minutes in the sin-bin and Dewsbury pressure began to mount.

Brambani returned and made an immediate impact after putting it on a plate for Danny Cowling to score from close range to put the Bulldogs head for the first time. Southernwood was unable to add the extras for Batley.

Soon after, a late tackle by Joel Farrell gave Dewsbury the opportunity to draw the game level with a penalty. Glover’s kick was successful and the game was all square on the half-hour mark.

Just before the break, an inventive assist by Sam Smeaton set free winger Wayne Reittie to score out wide for the Bulldogs. Southernwood pulled his kick wide but Batley were ahead once more.

HALF TIME: Batley Bulldogs 8-4 Dewsbury Rams.

Five minutes into the second half, the Bulldogs were over for a third time. James Harrison crashed over in the corner after a strong run to extend Batley’s lead. Southernwood was unable to add the extras on this occasion.

Dewsbury replied immediately after Brown ran from half way and powered his way over for the Rams. The extra points were added by Glover to bring Dewsbury back into the game.

Then, a break by Dewsbury had to be dealt with by Scott who kicked the ball dead. From the following set, Batley were penalised after Cowling was holding down. Dewsbury, from the penalty, leveled the scores through Glover’s penalty.

Dewsbury, on the hour mark, took the lead once more after Paul Sykes’ drop goal attempt was successful from close range.

Soon after, a last ditch try-saving tackle by Wayne Reittie on Glover kept Dewsbury’s advantage at just one point.

In a scrappy affair, Dewsbury entered the final ten minutes with a slender advantage.

Two opportunities for Brambani were squandered inside the final moments. A penalty was put wide before a drop-goal was also put wide.

With a minute to play, Southernwood’s attempted drop goal was well wide and Dewsbury held out to complete the league double over the Bulldogs.

FULL TIME: Batley 12-13 Dewsbury.

Dewsbury Rams 23-22 Batley Bulldogs

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Batley Bulldogs were eliminated from the Challenge Cup in dramatic fashion after Dewsbury Rams claimed a golden point victory at the Tetley’s Stadium.

Just ten days earlier, Dewsbury registered their first competitive win of the season against Batley in the Kingstone Press Championship. Therefore, the Bulldogs were on a mission to seek revenge at the Tetley’s Stadium.

Bulldogs’ Jy Hitchcox was making his debut for Batley after being sidelined for over a year through injury.

In the opening five minutes, a penalty for a high shot gave Batley the opportunity to open the scoring but full back Dave Scott was held up to deny the visitors an early lead.

From the following set, Batley were awarded a penalty or interference and the Bulldogs took full advantage after Macauley Hallett crashed over from close range. Batley had started the game on the front foot and were deservedly ahead inside seven minutes. Cain Southernwood, on his return to action, put the conversion marginally wide.

Within minutes of kick off, Dewsbury were over in the corner for a try of their own. A penalty conceded by Leak allowed Dewsbury to take full advantage and full back Josh Guzdek dived over in the corner to draw the game level. Paul Sykes’ conversion attempt was pulled wide.

Soon after, Batley were denied a second try after the referee deemed Dom Brambani’s pass to Brad Day to be forward and the Rams survived.

Midway through the first half, Batley were gifted an oppotunity to retake the lead after Robbie Ward kicked out on the full for Dewsbury inside their own half. A strong run from Brad Day earned Batley a penalty just ten metres out and the Bulldogs took full advantage.

Adam Gledhill and Alistair Leak were both held up before a wide pass by Southernwood found Farrell who put it on a plate for Macauley Hallett to score his second try of the game in the corner. Southernwood, on this occasion, kicked the resulting conversion to stretch Batley’s advantage.

From the restart, a high tackle by Dewsbury’s Dan Igbinedion gifted another opportunity for Batley deep in Dewsbury territory. A storming run and finish from prop forward Tom Lillycrop gave Batley their third try of the game. Southernwood, from in front of the posts, extended Batley’s lead with another successful conversion.

Despite mounting Batley pressure, it was the home side who scored next after Paul Sykes crashed over in the corner. A kick on the last tackle by Dewsbury ricocheted off of the chest of Batley prop Alex Rowe and Dewsbury took full advantage of an extra set after Sykes was found out wide to score. Sykes subsequently stepped up and missed the following conversion.

Moments before the break, a neat grubber kick by Brambani was poorly gathered by Dale Morton who knocked on and Batley were awarded a head and feed in dangerous territory. However, strong Dewsbury defence ensured that the ball went dead. In the aftermath, Smeaton was sent to the sin bin for Batley for obstructing play.

From the following set, Dewsbury scored again after a powerful break. Andy Kain broke through a gap in the Batley defence and put it on a plate for Guzdek to score his second of the game. Sykes added the extras to put Dewsbury within two points of Batley’s lead.

HT: Dewsbury Rams 14-16 Batley Bulldogs.

In the early exchanges of the second half, a strong attack by Batley forced a goal line dropout. From the following set, Cain Southernwood was held up well by Dewsbury and the Rams survived the Batley onslaught.

Soon after, a knock on by Igbinedion on the Bulldogs’ try line ensured that Batley’s lead remained intact.

However, Batley’s inability to finish soon became their downfall. Dewsbury took the lead for the first time in the game after Aaron Brown dived over after a clever grubber kick by Speakman. Sykes stepped up and added the extras for Dewsbury.

Then, interference by Batley gave Dewsbury a penalty and a chance to extend their lead to six. Sykes, from just in front of the halfway line, kicked the penalty to give Dewsbury a 22-16 lead with less than twenty minutes to play.

Within minutes, a kick by Dom Brambani was pounced on by Brambani himself to finish off a quite superb individual effort and gift Batley an opportunity to draw level with just fifteen minutes left. Southernwood’s conversion was wide and Dewsbury’s slender lead remained.

Batley looked to be over through Leak but the Bulldogs hooker was well held up and Dewsbury survived once more.

With three minutes to play, Batley were awarded a penalty for interference and Southernwood had the chance to draw the game level with a penalty. Southernwood converted and the game as level at 22-22 with seconds to play.

Brambani had the opportunity to win the game for Batley but his drop goal attempt was wide.

FT: Dewsbury Rams 22-22 Batley Bulldogs

The Heavy Woollen derby was to be decided by a golden point.

Dewsbury received the kick off but were unable to score in their set. From the resulting set, Dewsbury Rams’ Lewis Fairhurst scored the game winning drop goal and eliminated Batley from the Challenge Cup.