Bulldogs can rise to Rams’ challenge

Batleys defence attempts to halt a strong drive from Featherstones Jack Ormondroyd during last Sundays Championship clash.
Batleys defence attempts to halt a strong drive from Featherstones Jack Ormondroyd during last Sundays Championship clash.

Batley Bulldogs will aim to end a three-match losing run against old foes Dewsbury Rams when the sides clash in a fourth Heavy Woollen derby of this season at Fox’s Biscuits Stadium on Sunday.

Batley suffered a 20-4 defeat away to Dewsbury on Good Friday in what was Neil Kelly’s first game in charge as Rams head coach and the Bulldogs were also knocked out of the Challenge Cup by their neighbours after a dramatic golden point extra time drop goal.

The Rams completed a hat-trick of wins over Batley when they won another tense affair 13-12 at the Summer Bash in Blackpool.

Dewsbury have hit form of late having won their last three games to move out of the Kingstone Press Championship relegation zone.

Bulldogs head coach Matt Diskin wants his side to rise to the challenge in what he expects to be another tough contest.

He said: “Dewsbury is a big game for us. They have got it over on us twice this season, the Blackpool Bash being the last one.

“They play a particular type of game against us that worked effectively so we are pretty much comfortable in knowing what is coming. Now the question mark is can the players handle it and push past. They have shown progress in the last couple of weeks to suggest they can.

“I think we’ve made good progress. We were always going to be in a transition year and I still genuinely believe we have the makings of a top-four side.

“Obviously we are not going to achieve that this year but we have some real quality individuals there and they are slowly coming together.”

Any points Batley gain in their remaining three matches of the regular season will be carried into the Championship Shield once the season splits and Batley currently lie sixth in the table.

Diskin added: “I think we will be confident. We are confident every game we play. I don’t think any sportsman competing or sports club takes the field expecting to lose - we expect to win every game we take part in.

“We will go into the Shield competition exactly the same. There will be no level of arrogance from us.

“We are very confident but also very humble about how we go about our business.

“There will be some fantastic teams in that Shield competition and it’s not going to be an easy run.”