Batley must match intensity each game

Bulldogs coach John Kear
Bulldogs coach John Kear
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Batley Bulldogs coach John Kear admits his side must play with the same intensity for every Kingstone Press Championship game.

The Bulldogs suffered only their second defeat of the season, going down to Oldham last Sunday, and the coach admitted his side may have switched off slightly.

Kear said: “It’s a lesson for the players.

“I thought Oldham had a bigger point to prove after a disappointing Easter.

“We had a good one and we rested on our laurels.

“We have got to turn up with the same enthusiasm and same work ethic week in and week out and execute our skills.

“We played in a stuttering manner with the ball, because we weren’t working hard enough off the ball to present shapes and opportunities for the ball players to play.”

Despite the minor blip, Batley have made a terrific start to the Championship season, taking 13 points from their opening nine games to lie second.

Loose forward Pat Walker kicked two goals in the 28-12 defeat at Oldham, taking his tally to 41 already for the Bulldogs.

Walker is just 10 goals short of reaching the 500 career milestone having also kicked 71 for Sheffield between 2013-2015 and 378 during a spell at Dewsbury Rams between 2007-2012.

Kear has praised his goalkicker’s efforts in the early stages of the season, saying: “Patch’s kicking ratio is in the high 80s (per cent).

“Scott Leatherbarrow was in the low 70s and when you are only just losing games by the odd point goalkicking can be significant.”

Batley have reduced admission prices for next weekend’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie against fellow Championship side Featherstone Rovers.

The match will be played on Saturday April 15 and will kick off at 5pm, to be televised live on Sky Sports.

Admission for the tie will be £15 adults, £10 concessions and free for Under-16s.

Supporters will have chance to have their photograph taken with the Challenge Cup, while there will be opportunity to compete for £5,000 prize money in the Ladbrokes Crossbar Challenge.