Ben Kaye's injury is huge loss for Batley Bulldogs ahead of Dewsbury Rams derby admits coach Craig Lingard

Batley Bulldogs will go into the Betfred Championship play-offs without star forward Ben Kaye.

Saturday, 11th September 2021, 11:45 am

The influential hooker needed hospital treatment after suffering a recurrence of a neck injury during last weekend’s defeat by visitors Whitehaven.

“The likelihood is Ben’s going to be out for the season now, which obviously isn’t good,” coach Craig Lingard confirmed.

“He gives us a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm and lifts the players just with his personality and the energy he brings to his game and everybody else’s.

Craig Lingard. Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com

“He is going to be a loss for us, but we’ve coped with injuries throughout the season - as everyone else has - and it’s another one we’re going to have to cope with.”

Last week’s defeat means Bulldogs look set to finish the regular season in fifth spot and Lingard wants to see a huge improvement in Sunday’s home derby with Dewsbury Rams.

“It’s always a big game,” the Bulldogs boss said.

“They had a good win over Sheffield so will be full of confidence and we are licking our wounds a bit.

“It’s important we try and get back on the horse as quickly as possible.

“We need to get back to doing what we were doing before our week off and if we do, I’m pretty confident we’ll be okay.

“If we don’t and Dewsbury perform better than us, they’re going to win.”

Lingard is hoping last week was “a bit of a wake-up call for us”, but insisted: “It’s better to happen now than the first round of the play-offs, when it’s knockout football.”