Our first Championship home game for well over a year is something we have been desperately waiting for although a game with a crowd is something we are equally desperate for. We tried to move our game v London to Monday 17th May but we have been unsuccessful as London have not agreed to such a switch which to an extent we can understand with the travelling distance involved but it is still disappointing. We can now only hope that there is some way we can be allowed a crowd on 16th May but we are not optimistic.
If you are able to watch our game on OurLeague you will see our stadium and pitch are looking absolutely magnificent thanks to a lot of hard work over the last year in particular by our volunteers. We are truly indebted to them. We have rebooted our Club in many ways but a significant way is the work we have done to our facilities as we have improved our toilet facilities, sponsor boxes, turnstiles and our gym. We have cleaned, painted, repaired, overalled and painted again in a year with no rugby as that is all we could do. Now of course we can hopefully concentrate on improving in other areas and of course rugby league where we will all do our best to have an enjoyable and successful season.
2022 at the moment is full of uncertainty where we are still to know what if any funding there will be and there are many rumours about how our sport will look and how many professional teams there will be. This season is very important for our survival and that is not being too dramatic. We have got to get to October 2021 with no debts and as high as we can get in the League table. In addition apparently we have to show that we are “ relevant “ whatever that means but it will mean we have to get as good a crowd as we can at each game and we have as many OuRLeague members as we can and we have to perform relative to other Clubs as well as we can on social media. So we all have a lot to do this year. Any help people can give to keep us financially stable will be greatly appreciated and in this respect the support you have given to our Draw over the last year has been absolutely brilliant and has played a significant role in keeping us going.
We are in all this still very enthusiastic going forward and confident that we will prosper this year and going forward. We are particularly enthused by the squad of players we have put together and our coaching and backroom staff who have done a superb job in coping with all the challenges over last few months to get us to the start in a good position. We believe we have got a good team spirit this year and we are quietly confident but the proof is in how we actually perform on the field. We have to start with a solid performance today against Oldham who have already got their first win under their belts under Matt Diskin who we welcome back to the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium in his first coaching role since he left us.
So let battle commence!!
This week’s Half Time Draw is sponsored In Memory of John Wells who passed away one year ago.
A huge figure in the local Rugby League scene, John was known and loved by many, and of course he was a stalwart Batley supporter as well. He coached at Batley boys for over 13 years, running various age groups up to Under 16s with many of his players turning to the professional game.
John also collected the daily draw for Batley for over 25 years and only stopped when his health prevented him from getting about as easily as he had. All this on top of working at Staincliffe Hospital for 16 years. He gave Jack Broadbent his first rugby ball when he saw him collecting the daily draw, even though Jack was very young when he started playing he always thanked John.
After John passed away the family were overwhelmed with messages from his past players, a perfect tribute to his outstanding work in the community game.
“When I missed training or went missing he would turn up at our house and make sure I went back to train god knows with out your dad not guiding me in right direction what road I would have gone down in those times but brilliant memories a great coach and even better bloke all I can do is thank him.”
We are pleased to announce the launch of our Season Tickets ahead of our first home game v Oldham. Of course initially our games are Behind Closed Doors until 17th May but Adult & Concession season ticket holders will be sent a code to enable them to view streamed games at no cost. This season we have 11 Championship home games in total.
Our prices are-
Juniors – Under 16 – Free
Tickets can be purchased on our ticketing site.
New Season Ticket Cards will then we posted to you. Those supporters who were season ticket holders in 2020 should simply retain their season ticket card and once payment is made the old card will be activated for use in 2021.
At Checkout, IF YOU ARE RENEWING A PREVIOUS SEASON CARD PLEASE SELECT E-TICKET in DELIVERY OPTIONS
For new orders please select Post. A postage and packaging fee of £2 will apply.
An email will then be sent to you so that you can watch streamed games with a code at no cost.
We then hope to see you at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium as soon as possible
To purchase your tickets now go to – bulldogs.mysportstickets.co.
Junior tickets do not qualify fro free match streaming.
- General admission tickets on-sale today (Tuesday 6 April at 9:00 AM BST) following a hugely successful pre-sale and ballot process
- Prices start as low as £2.21 and there’s tickets for all games still available
- 80% of tickets are priced below £50
- Competing nations merchandise also launched
- RLWC2021 will consist of 61 matches in 21 locations across the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments
Today (Tuesday 6th April) marks 200 days to go until the opening fixture of Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021), and to celebrate this milestone, general admission tickets are now officially on sale.
Batley Bulldogs fans can now secure their seat for anyone of the 61 fixtures that take place later this year, across the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments that will take place simultaneously for the first time across England.
Fans can now purchase tickets via www.rlwc2021.com/tickets until Tuesday 1 June, where tickets will go off sale for a three-week period until June 21st for seat assignment. In addition, RLWC2021 has also launched competing nations merchandise which is available via the RLWC2021 Official Shop.
The general sale will see ticket prices starting as low as £2.21 for concessions, and the unique tournament will be one of the most accessible and affordable for fans with more than 80% of tickets priced below £50.
Demand for tickets has already exceeded organisers expectations during the ballot period last year, with several fixtures only having limited availability remaining.
Fans who have been starved of live sporting actions since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic have the opportunity to experience the pinnacle of Rugby League surrounded by full stadiums. RLWC2021 are working alongside UK governing bodies to deliver a restriction free tournament.
Jon Dutton, Chief Executive of RLWC2021, said: “This is a momentous day for the tournament as general admission tickets go on sale to the public.
“The last year or so has been an incredibly challenging one for everyone, including fans deprived of seeing live events, and to be able to go on sale for what promises to be the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup in history is very exciting. .
“The countdown is well and truly on, and fans from all of our incredible host cities can feel the excitement building, with general sale being the latest milestone passed on the road to RLWC2021.
“With the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournament tickets going on sale today, there are so many amazing fixtures for fans to secure their seats to, giving them a chance to be involved in what is sure to be a fantastic World Cup. There is a real opportunity for them to not only support their own nation, but also the realistic and affordable possibility of seeing some of the other high-profile games and maybe adopting a second team in the tournament.”
Tournament organisers have also issued a ticket refund guarantee for all ticket buyers should there be restrictions on crowds at the event and to reassure fans in the unfortunate circumstance the event has to be cancelled. More information is available here: rlwc2021.com/buy-with-confidence
Premium seats and Hospitality experiences are still on sale and available for all matches and will give fans the opportunity to secure a place at the tournament in addition to enjoying the best match day experience each venue has to offer. More details available at the rlwc2021.com/hospitality.
Fans can also secure their ticket through booking their Squad Trip including accommodation and experiences all in one place – making it easy to plan your trip and giving you a great choice across our host towns and cities. Squad Trips available via rlwc2021.com/squadtrips.
For full ticketing details visit rlwc2021.com/tickets
Report by Luke Winner.
Batley faced familiar outfit Featherstone in what was a thrilling and effort packed first round of Championship rugby.
The hosts were the team to draw first blood with Craig Kopczak barrelling over and Kris Welham following shortly after. Craig Hall managed to slice just one conversion over. 0 – 10
Acting fullback Elliot Hall brought Batley onto the board scoring a fantastic try from some quick darting moves to crash over. Tom Gilmore took the kicking duties, converting successfully.
Before half-time was declared Featherstone extended their lead through Frankie Halton and Dane Chisholm. However, Hall was unable to convert either setting the score at 18 – 6.
Gareth Gale re-opened the scoresheet after the break for the hosts, capitalising on an opportunity on the right edge. Hall missed the conversion.
Batley needed a response and Lingard’s men answered from an accurately placed kick by Gilmore to find the hands of prop Lucas Walshaw landing down near the posts. Gilmore converted. 12 – 22
Former Castleford player Junior Moors soon scooped his debut try, storming to the line for the Rovers. Hall converted.
The final score came from a great assist by Ben White who broke the opposition defence and found Jack Logan in support to finish off the play directly under the sticks. Gilmore slotted over the conversion.
FULL-TIME: Featherstone 28 – 18 Batley
Overall, it was an impressive display from Lingard’s team who showed sheer determination against the top four hopefuls. Batley will be looking to take the positives from the game into their next round at Oldham.
Featherstone Rovers: Craig Hall, Ben Blackmore, Kris Welham, Josh Harcastle, Gareth Gale, Dane Chisholm, Nu Brown, Craig Kopczak, Connor Jones, James Lockwood, Brad Day, Frankie Halton, Jack Bussey.
Subs: James Harrison, Dean Parata, Luke Cooper, Junior Moors.
Batley Bulldogs: Elliot Hall, Jonny Campbell, Jack Logan, Kieran Buchanan, Jodie Broughton, Ben White, Tom Gilmore, James Brown, Alistair Leak, Adam Gledhill, Dane Manning, Lucas Walshaw, Josh Tonks.
Subs: Toby Everett, Nyle Flynn, Michael Ward, Jack Blagbrough.
Photos by Dan Winner
We put your questions to Bulldogs’ Coaches Craig Lingard & Mark Moxon ahead of the Betfred Championship 2021 Campaign.
Our season starts this Friday evening away at Featherstone Rovers. See the game live on OurLeague, £4.95 with an Early Bird Ticket!
We’d like to say a big thank you to Lewis Galbraith as he moves on from The Bulldogs and back to Rochdale Hornets for the 2021 campaign.
Having played over 50 games for the club, Lewis had taken time away for the game for personal reasons, and a move closer to home will see him stay in the game. Hugely entertaining, and a crowd favourite, we’re sorry to see him go and wish him the very best for the future.
Bulldogs Chairman Kevin Nicholas has announced that monies raised in this week’s Half Time Draw will be donated to the Rugby League Benevolent Fund. The draw will take place on Sunday 28th March.
Entries are just £2 with the chance to win £100 – Buy your tickets for the weekly draw at bulldogs.mysportstickets.co.uk/.
With the huge success of the draw over the past year helping the club through difficult times, along with contributions to Beverley’s Pink Weekend and the Archie Bruce Plaque, Kevin feels the one charity missing out in the game is The Benevolent Fund.
The RL Benevolent Fund is a charity that provides assistance to players, and the family of players who have suffered life-changing injuries playing Rugby League.
The sport is safer now than at any time in its history but sadly, as with all contact sports, accidents do happen. And when they do, the Benevolent Fund is there to offer lifelong support.
The charity has 20 former players on its full-time register and each year works with around 40 other people who have experienced serious injuries playing the game they love. Read more about the amazing work done by the fund HERE
HOW TO PLAY
– Visit the Batley Bulldogs ticketing website at Bulldogs.mysportstickets.co.uk/
– Select BUY TICKETS below the Half Time Draw ad.
– Ad your ticket to the basket
– Choose your Block in the stand
– Choose your seat – this becomes your ticket number
And that’s it! All seats sold are entered into a draw on Sunday afternoon and a winner chosen by our automated app. Entries close at 2pm on Sunday 28th March.
Hear Kevin’s full update below. Join our YouTube Channel for regular news and interviews.
The National Lottery is to become an official partner of the Rugby Football League and of Women’s and Girls’ Rugby League. The partnership is further evidence of The National Lottery’s commitment to helping sports, and specifically women’s sport, through the effects of the pandemic.
The partnership will see the support of The National Lottery acknowledged through a range of branding across the sport’s premier men’s and women’s fixtures. In addition, The National Lottery will be the title partner for the England Women Rugby League Mid-Season International versus Wales on Friday 25th June, Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington, KO 6pm.
There will also be a range of opportunities for National Lottery players to get tickets to major fixtures and to the Mid-Season International, including sought-after VIP tickets.
Almost the entire Women’s Rugby League 2020 season was lost to the Covid-19 pandemic. This means that the majority of women and girls have not played their sport since Autumn 2019. The impact of the cancelled season risked interrupting the significant momentum across all formats of the girls’ and women’s game. Since the RFL launched the Women’s Super League in 2017, the size of the girls’ and women’s playing community has increased by 53%.
The National Lottery has played a crucial role in supporting sport across the country during the pandemic. This has included commercial partnerships with a variety of sports, including Wheelchair Tennis, Rugby Union Sevens and non-league football across the four nations. Alongside this, over £150M of National Lottery funding has now been distributed to grassroots sports organisations across the UK.
Ralph Rimmer, CEO the Rugby Football League, said: “The growth of girls’ and women’s Rugby League at all levels has been wonderful, which made the impact of over a year of not playing so hard for the players, coaches, volunteers and clubs. But we bounce back with this new commercial partnership and with the support of The National Lottery, and we look forward to kicking off our vibrant domestic competitions, followed by a mid-season International, and the excitement of a home World Cup this autumn. Our thanks to The National Lottery who share our vision and understand that Rugby League changes the lives of the girls and women involved.”
Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “We’ve been clear that we must continue the push for greater participation, employment, commercial opportunities and visibility in the media for women’s sport. This announcement is great news for Women’s and Girls’ Rugby League. As we look ahead to the start of the 2021 professional season, this funding from The National Lottery will provide the sport with certainty as we work towards getting crowds back at matches as soon as possible.”
Nigel Railton, Chief Executive of National Lottery operator Camelot, said: “Every day, The National Lottery and its players make a huge difference to communities across the UK – and have been doing so since 1994. Supporting sports has always been part of the mission of The National Lottery and this inventive partnership will undoubtedly make a difference. The loss of spectators and cancellation of events has had such an impact, so I am proud that National Lottery players are able to support Rugby League after a difficult year.”
The money for these initiatives is coming from a National Lottery promotional fund. It is not being funded by money allocated for National Lottery Good Causes or by Camelot.
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HALIFAX PANTHERS 6-19 BATLEY BULLDOGS
Keith McGhie, The Shay, Saturday
ANY harsh words that coach Craig Lingard may have spoken after his side’s pre-season performance at Featherstone certainly had the desired effect as the Bulldogs responded to earn a thoroughly deserved place in next weekend’s second round.
Lingard was equally forthcoming with his praise this week as his charges came up with a totally committed defensive display that frustrated Halifax and ultimately gained the visitors a first win in four attempts at the Shay, dating back to early 2016.
Tries from newboys Jack Logan and Jodie Broughton plus a vital ‘nerve calmer’ by ex-Fax hooker Ben Kaye weres enough to clinch the win but it was at the other end of the park that a tight and occasionally error-strewn match was really won.
The Panthers, with that wonderful run to the semi-finals less than two years ago still fresh in the memory, gave competitive debuts to Connor Robinson, Liam Harris, Nick Rawsthorne, Dan Murray and Gadwin Springer.
Their West Yorkshire rivals paraded six new acquisitions in Jodie Broughton, Tom Gilmore, Kieran Buchanan, Josh Tonk, Logan and student world cup star Elliot Hall, whilst the Bulldogs included several ex-Fax players, although potentially two of the most significant – Dane Manning and Anthony Bowman – along with the club captain James Brown, were ruled out through injury.
But former Shay favourites Kaye, Broughton, Gilmore and Ben White did take to the field for the men from Mount Pleasant, for whom off the bench captain Alistair Leak was rewarded for his seven year stint the club with a 150th appearance.
For almost half an hour it was stalemate with Fax skipper Brandon Moore and Murray, starting his second stint with the Shaymen, going closest to breaking the deadlock with drives in quick succession to within half a yard of the whitewash.
Jacob Fairbank broke but lost possession 20 metres further forward, as Luke Hooley was forced off after suffering a blow to the nose in the tackle.
The impressive Dale Morton was taken out after a high kick from White and the offended against Batley back took the opportunity to edge the first ever winners of the Challenge Cup ahead with the penalty just before the half-hour mark.
Within two minutes Morton broke free down the right wing and Logan was on hand to cover the last 40 metres and score beside the posts.
Morton added his second goal in as many minutes to give the visitors an 8-0 half time lead.
Ten minutes after the restart Buchanan plucked the a high ball from a defender’s grasp and fed Broughton who scored but Morton’s kick agonisingly struck the near upright and bounced out, meaning Fax were potentially still only two scores adrift.
The hosts quickly took advantage as a Harris kick wasn’t dealt with and Matt Garside pounced to help halve the deficit as Robinson added the conversion.
Fax piled forward looking for more and only a brilliant tackle prevented Scott Grix grounding in the corner when Fax attacked down the left with a three on one man advantage.
It seemed the now backs-against-the-wall Bulldogs would have to score again and Kaye, left at first receiver after an earlier drive, obliged with a close range try 13 minutes from time. Robinson threatened once more when Moore and Murray created an opening but again a last ditch hand dislodged the ball and White finally sealed Batley’s passage with a late one-pointer.
GAMESTAR: Josh Tonks – Described by his coach as “outstanding” in epitomising the all-effort Bulldogs display to edge the honour from Dale Morton and Tom Gilmour
GAMEBREAKER: Batley couldn’t relax until the Ben White drop goal went over as Halifax still threatened.
Match Report courtesy of League Express
Drop Goal: White (67)
SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-2, 0-8, 0-12, 6-12, 6-18, 6-19
Rugby Leaguer & League Express Men of the Match:
Panthers: Josh Tonks
Bulldogs: Gadwin Springer
Penalty count: 2-5
Six again: 4-2
Referee: Ben Thaler