Batley Bulldogs 13 Featherstone Rovers 28: Covid-hit Bulldogs beaten by promotion-chasing Rovers

Featherstone Rovers bounced back from their loss against Toulouse Olympique to defeat in-form Batley Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon.

Monday, 9th August 2021, 4:25 pm
Updated Monday, 9th August 2021, 4:26 pm
RESULT: Batley Bulldogs 13-28 Featherstone Rovers. Picture: Dec Hayes Photography.

The hosts were hit by Covid-related disruption in the build up to the game as head coach Craig Lingard was left with just 16 fit players.

Batley reported a positive Covid-19 test to the RFL on Tuesday but had no further positives tests when they returned to training on Thursday.

The club carried out further testing on Saturday morning when two more cases of Covid-19 were identified, forcing Lingard to cancel the Bulldogs' final training session before Sunday's game.

RESULT: Batley Bulldogs 13-28 Featherstone Rovers. Picture: Dec Hayes Photography.

Batley tested their players for a fourth time on Sunday morning. No more positive cases came back which meant the fixture was able to proceed as planned.

Lingard called upon former Batley regular Joe Chandler to give him 17 players for the contest as Batley entered the contest on the back of a three-game winning run.

Featherstone took a 12-0 lead as Dane Chisholm and Nu Brown both crossed for tries.

However, Batley produced a stirring fightback to lead at half-time against the promotion hopefuls, who handed debuts to Alex Walker and Gadwin Springer.

RESULT: Batley Bulldogs 13-28 Featherstone Rovers. Picture: Dec Hayes Photography.

Adam Gledhill got the hosts' first points of the game as he burrowed his way over the line before Greg Johnson forced his way over in the corner as Tom Gilmore's conversion levelled proceedings.

Gilmore added a drop-goal before the break to edge Batley ahead but Featherstone kept the home side scoreless in the second half to lay the platform for victory.

Ben Blackmore - returning from a 10-game ban - grounded the ball to regain the lead for Rovers before Walker increased the lead with a converted try.

Frankie Halton's try sealed victory for Featherstone, who remain second in the table behind unbeaten Toulouse.