A Year Full of Pride

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The Bulldogs’ 2021 campaign came to an end in France on Saturday afternoon as Craig Lingard’s men fell to a 51-12 defeat at the hands of Full Time Toulouse Olympique.

After leaving training at 8.30pm on Firday evening, with some players travelling back across the penines, the squad met again at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium for 6.15 on Saturday morning. A coach trip to Humberside airport and charter flight to Toulouse saw the group arrive at the Stade Ernest Wallon for midday UK time, with a 3.15 kick-off to come.

The visitors made a solid start to the game, resting Olympique close to their line but it was the hosts who broke away to open the scoring with 2 quickfire tries. Dane Manning then forced his way over after enterprising play from the Bulldogs, to marrow the deficit. Toulouse added a 3rd score before Greg Johnson again brought the scores closer with a finish in the corner after more excellent play from The ‘Dogs. Half time saw The Bulldogs trailing by just 4 points at 16-12 after a fantastic effort.

The second 40 saw the overwhelming favourites take control of the game, and run out 51-12 victors to cement their spot in the Betfred Championship Grand Final

Craig Lingard and his men can hold their heads high and be very proud of an outstanding season. Away wins at Newcastle, Widnes, and York City Knights were amongst the highlights as the side played some of the best Rugby League in the competition.
They can now take a well earned rest before preparation for 2022 starts again in just a few weeks time.

Video Courtesy of Joe Miller.

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Bulldogs Head Coach Craig Lingard has been named Betfred Championship Coach of the Year at this evenings RFL Awards event.

The Bulldogs finished fourth in the regular season table, picking up 13 wins from the 21 fixtures, losing just twice away from the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium, picking up incredible wins at Widnes, York and Newcastle along the way. In particular the difficult early tie at Newcastle when after issues with the team bus, the group arrived at the stadium just 15 minutes before the scheduled Kick-Off time.

Last Saturday another fantastic team performance saw the side progress to the Play-Off Semi Final with a pulsating win over Bradford Bulls, live on Sky Sports.

Bulldogs Half Back Tom Gilmore was also in line for the Player of The Year award, pipped at the post by Featherstone’s Craig Hall. Tom has had an outstanding season for the club, has played a huge part in the success on the field and can be very proud of his nomination.

The team travel to France on Saturday 2nd October for a Semi Final showdown with Toulouse Olympique, with a place in Super League just 2 games away.

Allez Allez – Bulldogs charge to Semi Final

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Details are still being finalised for The Bulldogs’ trip to face Toulouse Olympique in Saturday’s Betfred Championship Play-Off Semi Final. The game is scheduled to Kick-Off at 4.15 French Time, 3.15 in the UK.

Craig Lingard’s men booked their spot in the final with a nail-biting victory over Bradford Bulls at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium. First Half tries from Ben Kaye and Tom Gilmore, both converted by the latter who also added 2 penalties, put the home side 16-0 up at the break.

The hosts then had to survive a second half onslaught from a huge Bulls side, attacking down the hill and spending the majority if the half inside the Bulldogs 40m line. The ‘Dogs showed incredible resilience and defence, with the line breached twice before Elliot Hall burst the Bradford line on halfway and powered his way through the defence for a brilliant finish in the corner. Tom Gilmore added an incredible touchline conversion under pressure, before adding a 1 pointer 2 minutes from time to cap a Man of the Match performance and seal the win.

 

 

 

 

 

Bulldogs Pair in Awards Nominations

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Head Coach Craig Lingard and Half Back Tom Gilmore are recognised with nominations at the upcoming RFL  Awards Ceremony.

Players and coaches from 13 clubs are in the running for the Betfred Championship and League 1 Awards in 2021.

Votes have been polled from the head coaches of the 14 clubs in the Betfred Championship, and the 10 in Betfred League 1, to produce shortlists of three candidates for each of six categories – Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year* and Coach of the Year in each competition.

The voting in the Player of the Year category in each competition was so tight that a shortlist of four has been announced.

The winners will be revealed in a Betfred Championship and League 1 Awards Special to be streamed on Our League next Wednesday evening (September 29) from 745pm – free to an Our League membership which is now within a few hundred Rugby League fans of breaking the 200,000 barrier.

Batley Bulldogs and Featherstone Rovers each have two contenders in the Betfred Championship awards, with Bradford Bulls, Halifax Panthers, Oldham, Swinton Lions, Toulouse Olympique and Whitehaven also represented.

Toulouse’s captain Johnathon Ford is up against Batley’s Tom Gilmore and the Featherstone team-mates Craig Hall and James Harrison for the Player of the Year award.

The three nominees for the Coach of the Year award are all involved in this Saturday’s Elimination Play-Offs – Simon Grix of Halifax Panthers and Gary Charlton of Whitehaven, whose teams face each other at The Shay, and Batley’s Craig Lingard, whose Bulldogs host Bradford.

The Bulls forward Ebon Scurr is in the running for the Young Player of the Year award, but faces stiff competition from two players who have excelled in teams struggling at the wrong end of the table – Luis Roberts of Swinton Lions, and the Oldham prop Tyler Dupree.

In Betfred League 1, Workington Town have a nominee in each of the three categories, with Barrow Raiders, Coventry Bears, Keighley Cougars and North Wales Crusaders also represented.

Workington’s Jamie Doran is one of four contenders for the Player of the Year award with the Crusaders wing Rob Massam and two members of the Barrow team who have already sealed promotion and the League Leaders’ Shield – Jamie Dallimore and Tee Ritson.

Coventry’s Richard Squires is an eye-catching nominee for Coach of the Year alongside Workington’s Chris Thorman and Anthony Murray of the Crusaders.

Brad Holroyd is Workington’s nominee for the Young Player of the Year Award and is up against two Keighley Cougars players – Charlie Graham and Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e.

In addition to these six categories, there will be three more winners revealed next Wednesday night – with a Club of the Year to be rewarded in each division, for a combination of their on and off-field performance, and a new award, the Our League Entertainer of the Year, to be decided by the votes of Our League members when a six-man shortlist is announced next Monday.

*Eligibility for the Young Player of the Year Award in each competition required a minimum of 10 first team appearances, and contenders had to have been 21 or under on January 1, 2021.

Iro Hits 100 Miles

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Bulldogs Chief Executive Paul Harrison has smashed his 100 mile run challenge, completing 10.miles each day for 10 days in a row, raising well over his target of ÂŁ2k for Cancer Charities in the process!

See his final day below, and if you can help at all his fundraising page is at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/IRO100MILES?utm_term=re8rJ3Gbz

https://youtu.be/NUOwUv8XOsA

Bulldogs Bar renamed in honour of Beverley Nicholas

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Anybody attending our Pink match will see new signage above the entrance to our main bar in the Glen Tomlinson stand renaming that  bar  “Beverley’s Bar” in honour of Beverley and it is fitting that this takes place over Beverley’s Pink Weekend.

Beverley was asked by me to stand in and help behind the bar for one match when we didn’t have any staff and she agreed with some reservation i think. After the first match she said that if we were still short of staff she didn’t mind doing it a bit longer. Over 16 years later she was still there and never ever took a wage. It is fair to say she loved every minute of it meeting supporters from our Club and visiting Clubs and meeting players families. She also loved working with Brian & Cath.

She was often exhausted by the end of the day especially big matches and in later years especially if it was chemotherapy week but that never put her off and the only price i ever had to pay was to pour her a drink at home and massage her feet after standing up all day. Not much really.

I know Beverley would not have wanted this naming to happen initially but afterwards she would be so honoured to be remembered in this way. Also Alexandra, myself and our family are absolutely delighted this has happened and are so proud of not just the success she made of the Bar and her legacy of  Beverley’s Pink Weekend but everything she ever did. So please go and enjoy a drink from Beverley’s Bar, have a great day and let’s raise as much money as we can for our Breast Cancer charities to boost our running total of £130,500.

Kevin Nicholas.

Iro’s 100 Mile Challenge

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As we build towards this year’s Pink Weekend celebrations, Club Chief Executive Paul Harrison is to embark on a monster 100 mile run, raising funds for Cancer Charities. Iro will run 10 miles a day, for 10 consecutive days culminating on 12th September as we entertain local rivals Dewsbury Rams.

Monies raised will be split between 2 fantastic causes. A Just Giving page is available HERE if you can help in any way, with full details in the interview below.

Sgt Linners Fab Four

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The Bulldogs have made a huge statement by moving quickly to secure the services of 4 key men for the 2022 campaign, fighting off competition from a number of clubs.

Half Back pairing Tom Gilmore and Ben White have been outstanding in the centre of the park, and will both be with Craig Lingard’s Squad next season, in a partnership which gets even better with every game.

Full Back Luke Hooley has been attracting attention from all angles with some outstanding performances and show stopping Tries, and will be with the club another year.

And the hugely popular Alistair Leak, Vice Captain, Hooker and linchpin of the side, has also committed another campaign at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.

The 4 key signings have once again been made possible with the support and help of BISSA who work tirelessly in supporting the club with vital funds. Read more about their fantastic efforts at bissa.co.uk

2022 could be the most important campaign the Betfred Championship has seen, and the planning has started well.

 

Thank You Stuart

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We have been informed by his family that the funeral of Stuart Hull will take place on Tuesday 24th August, 1pm, at Dewsbury Crematorium

The car will leave his home at approximately 12.20, and will take Stuart into The FOx’s Biscuits Stadium, to travel past the Bede Stand, turn in the carpark at the back and proceed to the Crematorium from there, giving his friends from the breakfast club, and supporters, the opportunity to pay their respects at the club.

After the service the family will return to the club to celebrate Stuart’s fantastic life in The Bulldogs Bar. All are welcome to attend and raise a glass to a great man.

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11 August 2021

Yesterday were received terrible news that our great friend Stuart Hull had finally lost his battle with illness.

As well as being a lifelong supporter, and sponsor through his business, he became more involved at The Bulldogs after his son Paul joined the Board of Directors, and gave over 10 years service to the club.

Following his retirement Stuart became a linchpin of the stadium Monday to Friday. With an army of fellow volunteers, he would paint, clean, repair, (& often make worse!) anything he could find that needed attention. The group who work at the club during the week have saved us thousands in the process and we are incredibly grateful to all.

Moreso, the huge success of our Tuesday morning Breakfast Club, can be largely credited to Stuart who, cooked, cleaned, organised trips, Christmas Dinners and much more.

Above anything else, he was a lively infectious man, chatting & laughing with anyone who would listen, and will be missed by many. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to Paul, Sylvia, and their family at this awful time, they can be very proud of great man who was loved by many.

God Bless you Stuart Hull, and thank you.

 

Bulldogs v Featherstone – Match Update

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On Tuesday morning this week one of our players who had played in the Widnes game 48 hours previously tested positive for Covid.. The RFL carried out an analysis of that match and concluded we had no close contacts with that player during the game. We ourselves applying NHS criteria away from the stadium and RFL criteria at the stadium and on coach travel concluded that we did not believe there were any close contacts. However we tested all players on Tuesday and again on Thursday with all tests negative. We had planned training on Saturday and prior to training further testing. Regrettably two more of our players then tested positive on Saturday and training had to be cancelled. On Saturday there then followed extensive analysis by ourselves and Rfl protocols were actioned including reference by the RFL to their Multicases Covid group of experts.

We declared that as far as we could see there were no close contacts by other players with the two players that had tested positive. We were determined to play despite the fact that due to injuries we could only field 16 fit players from our first team squad and we indicated that to the RFL. We realise that Featherstone are the favourites to win this game and a void game would be better for our % of wins in the League table but we feel that for the integrity of the competition we need to seek to play games rather than call them off hence our determination to play if at all possible. We are aware of others believing that some Clubs are declaring close contacts to avoid playing games and we did not want anyone thinking that about BatleyBulldogs taking into account our opposition today.

After careful consideration the RFL decided that they would allow us to play the game provided we tested for the fourth time this week on Sunday morning which we agreed to do and then provided there were no more positive cases. That is exactly what has happened.

On Saturday we took the decision to close our ticketing option in view of the risk that the game did not take place and could not be played on an alternative date to limit the potential refund scenario. We regret we had to do this but we had little alternative other than to just let people pay on the day in the hope the game was still on. This has been a complicated challenging and stressful week all round and very time consuming preventing us from doing other things for the benefit of our Club.

All our coaches and back room staff have been absolutely magnificent and the players have had extra burdens put on them in already difficult times. We are truly proud  of the way we have managed to get this game on. Clearly against a very strong Featherstone side Craig has not only been unable to pick his strongest side due to unavailability of some players but has been unable to even select 17 players and been unable to train and carry out final preparations for such an important game but we are certain firstly we have taken the best option for the benefit of our sport and secondly that every single one of our players that take the field in such challenging circumstances will give of their very best for our Club.

Whatever the result Rugby League has been played and we are proud that has been achieved by our Club against such adversity.

Kevin Nicholas
Chairman
BatleyBulldogs