Bulldogs end seven-match losing streak

Batley Bulldogs ended their seven match losing run in the Kingstone Press Championship with a 34-6 victory over bottom club Doncaster.

It was only the second time in 14 games that Batley had tasted success but it was enough to move them up two places to ninth in the table.

Batley had the game wrapped up by half-time as they raced into a 24-0 lead despite playing up the slope.

Batley threatened from the off and almost took the lead when Cain Southernwood’s lovely kick saw winger Wayne Reittie leap to gather but he was unable to ground the ball.

Southernwood was dictating the early stages and his terrific pass gave opposite winger Alex Brown an opportunity but he was tackled into touch short of the line.

Doncaster’s resolve was broken in the 12th minute when Batley launched a counter-attack up the slope and Shaun Squires gave Brown the opportunity to beat opposite number Sam Doherty to score.

Scrum-half Scott Leatherbarrow fed Squires, who beat Doherty on his way to the line. Leatherbarrow converted.

Tom Lillycrop added Batley’s third try when he burst through and ducked under two defenders and showed great strength to score. Leatherbarrow again goaled.

Batley were rampant and added two further tries before the break.

Leatherbarrow kicked to the corner and Reittie won the race to dive on the ball for a fourth Bulldogs try.

Doncaster had Paul Mennell sin-binned for holding down and from the resulting penalty Reittie broke through and raced in unopposed.

With Doncaster still down to 12-men, Southernwood charged between the posts and Leatherbarrow’s third goal saw Batley hit the 30-point mark for the first time since their opening day win over Workington.

Confidence was growing among the Bulldogs, who were looking to capitalise and add further tries but they were hampered by a heavy downpour.

Doncaster kept Batley at bay for a time until Anthony Nicholson’s offload sent Squires over for his second try.

Doncaster did manage a consolation six minutes from time when Mennell pounced on a kick through and Dave Scott converted but they slipped to a 19th straight defeat and look almost certain to be relegated come the end of the season.

Batley will now look to build on this win in their remaining three matches before the Championship splits.

Batley Bulldogs: Campbell; Ainscough, Reittie, Squires, A Brown; Southernwood, Leatherbarrow; Hirst, Blake, Hesketh, Day, Scott, Chandler. Subs: Nicholson, Rowe, Lillycrop, J Brown.

Doncaster: Scott; Doherty, Welham, Waterman, Fox; Sanderson, Mennell; Carbutt, Kesik, Spiers, Kelly, Mussolino, Snitch. Subs: Emmett, Walker, Clark, Foster.

Referee: Adam Gill.

Attendance: 537.