Ainscough doubtful for visit of Oldham

Pat Walker attempts to wrestle free from Dewsburys Tom Hemingway during the Bulldogs derby win in Blackpool.
Pat Walker attempts to wrestle free from Dewsburys Tom Hemingway during the Bulldogs derby win in Blackpool.
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Batley Bulldogs could be without winger Shaun Ainscough for the visit of Oldham in the Kingstone Press Championship on Sunday (ko 3pm).

Ainscough was forced to come off at half-time of last Sunday’s Summer Bash derby against Dewsbury with an ankle injury.

Ainscough, who has scored five tries in 16 appearances this season, had X-rays on the injury and is doubtful to face Oldham.

Alex Brown, who was unavailable for last week’s trip to Blackpool, could step in as a direct replacement for Ainscough.

Batley fought back from 12-0 and 20-12 down to defeat Dewsbury Rams 28-24 at the Summer Bash and with both Bradford Bulls and Featherstone Rovers losing, it was enough to see John Kear’s men move up to third place.

Oldham surrendered a 20-0 lead, losing their derby against Swinton Lions to a last-gasp drop goal.

Oldham are second-bottom in the table, two points behind Whitehaven but they defeated Batley 28-12 at Bower Fold earlier in the season and the Bulldogs will be wary of a Roughyeds backlash as they bid to stay third.

Castleford dual registration centre Greg Minikin continues to impress during his spell at Batley and was among the try scorers in last week’s derby triumph.

Danny Cowling is expected to be out for around a month after having surgery on a cartilage tear but Brad Day is nearing a return as he recovers from a fractured thumb, while Sam Scott continues to make good progress following a recent ACL injury.

Sean Hesketh, who has made just one appearance for the Bulldogs this season and had a spell on loan with League One side Oxford, has been ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery.