Kear’s Bulldogs can create Batley legacy

Bulldogs players Dave Scott, Brad Day and James Brown celebrate the win over London. Picture: Paul Butterfield
Bulldogs players Dave Scott, Brad Day and James Brown celebrate the win over London. Picture: Paul Butterfield
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Batley Bulldogs are just one win away from securing third spot in the Championship and booking their place in the Super League qualifiers.

Batley go into Sunday’s final round of the regular season, away to Swinton Lions, knowing victory will help create a legacy in the club’s recent history.

Games against Super League champions Leeds Rhinos, Huddersfield Giants, Salford and Hull KR are just 80 minutes away and Batley know their destiny is very much in their own hands.

John Kear’s men lead fourth placed Bradford Bulls and Featherstone Rovers by a point and are two ahead of Halifax.

Rovers host the Bulls, with the winners guaranteed a top-four spot, while Halifax end their 23 game season at home to London.

Bulldogs chief executive Paul Harrison believes Sunday’s trip to Swinton is the biggest game in Batley’s recent history, eclipsing the 2013 Championship Grand Final and the Northern Rail Cup final win of 2010.

Harrison said: “This is the biggest game, financially, the club has had and could be worth £300,000 to us.

“To be in the position we are after 22 games, in front of Bradford, Featherstone and Halifax, is a tremendous achievement and these players are just one game away from creating history.”

Batley moved into third place with a terrific 31-20 victory over full-time London Broncos last week and have reported no new injury worries ahead of the trip to Swinton.

Batley have signed centre Sam Smeaton from Halifax before today’s deadline but he will not play in Sunday’s crucial final round.

Smeaton scored seven tries in 12 matches for Fax but has been on loan at York City Knights since their Challenge Cup defeat to Widnes in May.