The Bulldogs stormed back from 16-6 behind to run in 28 unanswered points and stun Widnes Vikings on their home patch. The victory, completing an impressive double over Widnes, takes Craig Lingard’s men to fourth place in the Betfred Championship.
Report to follow.
Last week I was privileged, along with Jon Flatman ( York) and Andy Mazey ( Rochdale), to represent the Championship and League 1 hence the semi professional part of our Rugby League Pyramid in a meeting with Ken Davy along with Paul King (Salford) and Paul Lakin (Hull KR) representing SL and overseen by Ralph Rimmer the CEO of the RFL.
In a separate project those representatives from SL are also part of discussions with the RFL to unite the two and therefore bring the game back together which has already been publicly stated by Ken Davy.
It is fair to say since SL split away from the RFL in 2018 there has been little dialogue between the different sections of the professional game and so first of all this meeting taking place at all is a healthy step in the right direction. In the meantime of course there has been the highly challenging pandemic the effects of which are still ongoing and a reduced TV contract for the televising of Rugby League games the great majority of which are SL matches.
To say the least then a lot has happened and none of it has helped our sport prosper to put it mildly. Going forward we all recognised there are significant challenges ahead. My clear impression from the meeting was certainly that we recognise the severe difficulties, stresses and challenges particularly financial the SL are facing and I believe the end product of the meeting was that equally the SL representatives recognised the very similar pressures albeit on a smaller scale that the semi professional game is facing more so in 2021.
The end result of the meeting in my view was very positive on all sides as we all want the sport to prosper and we all recognise perhaps that in the difficult times ahead it is in everyone’s interests to work together for the benefit of the whole sport. No decisions were made as this was simply a first step in the right direction of travel and probably the next step is for hopefully SL and RFL to join back together as that is the start we all want. From our perspective we want that to happen as soon as possible so that the step of resolving financial matters can take place to enable everyone to plan going forward.
In conclusion in my view this was an extremely positive meeting to build on for the future and without doubt positivity is something we need to emphasise going forward as without that the task ahead will be all the more difficult.
Again in my view, the whole game must come together as one for the benefit of all the parts and this meeting I found encouraging in this respect.
Kevin’s Matchday update. The Half Time Draw and a visitor to the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.
Fantastic news this this weekend as Steven Ball is named an MBE in the Queen’s Honours List.
Thoroughly deserved for a man who has given so much to our game and to our club.
Kevin’s thoughts on the award and other Rugby League men also recognised.
If you are attending the game in Whitehaven this weekend please see below for the Code Of Conduct for the LEL Arena. Match tickets are available in advance on the Bulldogs Ticket Site, sales will close at 7pm Saturday evening.
Admission is ticket only and there is no opportunity to buy on the day. Please do not travel to the game without one.
Covid-19 Spectator Code of Conduct
In order to assist our staff and stewards, and to help protect you and your fellow spectators, you are kindly requested to follow these guidelines.
Before purchasing a ticket, and again before attending a game, carry out your own personal risk assessment, taking into consideration not only your age, health status and clinical vulnerability, but also, if booking for others within your social bubble**, their age, health status, and clinical vulnerability.
As a condition of purchasing or being allocated a ticket, you must agree to provide details to support and assist NHS track and trace.
At all times and in all parts of The Recreation Ground please observe social distancing and avoid close contact with others who are not in your social bubble**.
- Arrive in good time to go through all necessary entry procedures
- Respect and keep to any spectator only zones
- Make sure in advance that you know where your entry point is, and, if an entry time is specified on your ticket, be there on time
- For spectators in standing areas, maintain social distancing requirements
- Remain in your designated area and zone- you are NOT permitted to move between different areas during the game
- Be aware that your temperature might be taken before entry
- Be aware you will be required to wear a mask or face covering
- If you need to access any of The Recreation Ground’s amenities, such as toilets, food and drink outlets, or concessions, check to see if any of them are not in use, and plan accordingly
- If you do need to leave your viewing position, wait for a time when the gangway is clear and always follow the signs and routes indicating which way to go
- If you are seated, when moving past other spectators, to and from your seat, please avoid face to face contact with other spectators – sometimes called the ‘brush past’ – have courtesy and turn your back as you pass
- If you are standing, please stay in your allocated space, within your social bubble**, and remain aware of the movements of others at all times
- Maintain good hand hygiene – use the sanitiser dispensers provided and avoid touching your face, or handles, railings etc, whenever possible
- Always cover your mouth if needing to cough or sneeze
- Avoid hugs, high-fives and any close contact with people who are not within your social bubble**
- Take care when shouting, singing or celebrating
- If you are attending with other members of your social bubble**, please make sure they all have read and understood this code of conduct
- Fans must not pass on or sell tickets to any other individual, including anyone with their social bubble**
All fans who purchase, or individuals who are allocated tickets, agree to comply with this
Covid-19 Spectator Code of Conduct
**Social bubble is currently defined as up to 6 people from no more than 2 households.
Forwards George Senior and Anthony Bowman have returned to The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium this week from their loan spell at Hunslet. Aiden Ineson has also returned to the club, signing once again after a month at his local club Dewsbury Moor.
The trio moved on earlier in the season in search of much needed game time and will return to the fold in to be considered for this week’s trip to Whitehaven.
Tickets for Sunday’s game are available on the Batley Bulldogs Ticketing page until Saturday evening. No tickets will be available for purchase on Sunday at the venue so please do not travel if you haven’t purchased in advance.
Increasing inclusion and diversity whilst tackling all forms of discrimination, including racism, is key to the growth and success of Rugby League. The TACKLE IT action plan is sport-wide and sets out specific measures which the sport is taking together to deliver real change.
We at Batley Bulldogs are playing our part in delivering the TACKLE IT commitments to make a positive, lasting difference. We are doing so because Rugby League stands in solidarity with players, coaches, match officials, fans, volunteers, staff, and supporters in the struggle against racism and discrimination in sport and in society.
Match Report by Luke Winner.
The Bulldogs welcomed back fans into the stadium for the first time in 456 days overcoming visitors
Swinton Lions in a hard fought 26 – 12 win.
Swinton were quick off the mark scoring straight from the get go through the hands of Mitch Cox.
Martyn Ridyard converted.
The visitors were making themselves known against Lingards side as their fluent and aggressive offence
saw them scoop another bursting try by Sam Brooks. Ridyard this time couldn’t convert.
However, the tries would end for Swinton as Batley started to put a foothold in the game with Ben Kaye
darting over the line at his second attempt. Dale Morton added the conversion just before half-time
leaving the score stood at 6 – 10.
Captain James Brown levelled the scoreboard following on from a busting run to the try line carrying
multiple defenders over. Morton added the extras.
Swinton had gained a penalty in their favour which saw Ridyard lace his boots up once again bringing
the game to 12 a piece.
It was then Batley’s turn for a penalty goal as Dale Morton converted successfully, whilst Luke
Waterworth was sent to the bin for 10 minutes.
Fluent and beautiful ball play from the Bulldogs setup Josh Tonks to place a chip kick into the corner for
Jodie Broughton to crash over. Morton converted.
The final try came from Alistair Leak who dipped and dived through the opposing team to put the final
decider down. Morton converted.
FULL-TIME: Batley Bulldogs 26 – 12 Swinton Lions
Batley: Luke Hooley, Johnny Campbell, Dale Morton, Kieran Buchanan, Jodie Broughton, Ben
White, Tom Gilmore, Adam Gledhill, Ben Kaye, Jack Blagbrough, Josh Tonks, Dane Manning and
Interchanges: Elliot Hall, Alistair Leak, Tom Lillycrop and Lucas Walshaw.
Swinton: Geronimo Doyle, Mike Butt, Mitch Cox, Reece Hamlett, Luis Roberts, Martyn Ridyard;
Jack Hansen, Sam Brooks, Luke Waterworth, Ronan Michael, Rhodri Lloyd, Nick Gregson and
Interchanges: Paddy Jones, Tayler Brown, Deane Meadows and Cobi Green.
SUNDAY’S HALF TIME DRAW WINNERS – Congratulations to Elizabeth Benson and Christopher Maguire
Just to say a massive thank you for making the Swinton game such a brilliant event. It was great having people back in the stadium and that is why we are here. Maybe it was not our best performance of the season but it was a hard fought game where we ultimately got over the line and got back to winning ways. However the most important thing was that we are back even if not in an ideal way.
We wanted to say first of all thanks for troubling yourselves to buy tickets when many are accustomed to simply turning up and paying. Then thank you for not complaining about any rules and more importantly observing them as most people seemed to follow them without any issue. Anyone who came in the outside bar area before , during or after the game also contributed to a superb atmosphere . To see Swinton supporters there following their team was good to see as well as our own support as it all contributed to a day of Rugby League celebration.
We are hoping that by our next home game on 27/6/21 v Halifax we will not be under the same restrictions but for the moment it is certainly not guaranteed so it is another waiting game. It is likely we will not know where we stand until 14/6/21 so we can only hope.
The one positive about everyone needing to buy tickets online is that we now have email addresses for more people to update you about the Club and to send people this email to thank them for their support.
For the next 3 weeks we will resume our weekly online draw and would ask you to buy tickets and support it as vital income for the Club in these Covid times. We are short of TWO SPONSORS for these draws for the £100 prize if anyone can help?
Our other fundraiser towards winning pay is our WAR CHEST where people can sponsor £100 per year all our wins or £5 per win and go into a draw for £100 every time we win a game. There are War Chests on each of our bars to put an envelope with monies in. If you have not been in it before then at our next home game just put an envelope in there with any monies but also include your name ,address, telephone number and email address so that we can contact you and give you your membership number. We are sending a separate email to members who already have a membership number to go in the draw. We of course now already have 5 wins so once we are back at home we will do draws for those wins ( and hopefully more!!) and publicise winning membership numbers on our website. If you can help by joining please do so.
We had a few comments about how well the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium looked and we are proud of everything that the Club along with volunteers help have done whilst we have been away. We have had nothing else to do apart from paint, clean, repair and improve every aspect of our facility but we have done this and we are now in a good place going forward. So again thank you for your kind comments.
Finally financially we are in a sound position going forward although things will get worse over the next few months especially if we achieve what we want to do namely win as many games as possible. So we are confident with a little help and support for rest of season we can get to October still financially sound and then move forward to be as good as we possibly can both on and off the field.
So now that we have seen you again we are confident we can enjoy many years of Rugby League together.
Thank you again and hope to see you soon.