Bulldogs in fine form for Oldham clash

Cain Southernwood will miss Batleys game against Oldham as he is sidelined with broken ribs.
Cain Southernwood will miss Batleys game against Oldham as he is sidelined with broken ribs.

Batley Bulldogs will target a third home win in the Kingstone Press Championship when Oldham visit Fox’s Biscuits Stadium on Sunday (kick off 3pm).

Batley go into the game on the back of a terrific 34-16 Challenge Cup victory away to Toulouse Olympique last week and they will look to take that form into the league.

Batley won at Toulouse despite being without six regular players, with Dominic Brambani, Macauley Hallett and James Davey all ruled out as their partners were expecting to give birth.

Cain Southernwood was sidelined with broken ribs and will not feature against Oldham but loan signings Will Maher and Tom Holmes are available having missed the cup tie in France and coach Matt Diskin faces a selection dilemma.

Brambani and Davey have welcome new additions to the Bulldogs family, while Hallett’s girlfriend is still expecting but all three are available for selection this week.

Danny Cowling and James Brown were both recalled to the squad and were among Batley’s try scorers, while Sam Smeaton crossed for a brace.

Dave Scott and Dane Manning were Batley’s other try scorers, while Patch Walker added five goals from six attempts as Batley produced an impressive attacking display in France.

Coach Matt Diskin said: “We knew going there would be tough, even with a full strength side.

“We only had one half-back but I thought Patch Walker and Alistair Leak were outstanding in organising us.

“Danny Cowling has waited patiently but he played very, very well and has put his best foot forward to be included at centre.

“Davey and Brambani’s partners have now had babies which is great news for the club and there will be a few selection headaches this week but it is a nice problem to have.”

Diskin believes his side can now build on the cup win as they look to climb the Championship table with victory over Oldham.

Diskin said: “We have got some new structures, both defensively and offensively and the players are now buying into those and it is important we get the consistency every week.”

He added: “We have reviewed the season so far and the players know they have fallen short of the application which is required to challenge for the top four.”