Bulldogs hopes rest on Featherstone trip

Bulldogs winger Alex Brown is hoping to be fit to face Featherstone on Monday after illness ruled him out last week.
Bulldogs winger Alex Brown is hoping to be fit to face Featherstone on Monday after illness ruled him out last week.

Batley Bulldogs must upset the odds and defeat Championship Shield leaders Featherstone Rovers to keep alive their semi-final hopes.

Batley travel to the Big Fellas Stadium on Bank Holiday Monday (kick off 3pm) looking to build on last week’s 38-20 win at Doncaster.

The Bulldogs have lost twice to Featherstone in the regular season, going down 23-16 at home and 44-16 on their last visit to Post Office Road.

Batley trail fourth placed Workington Town by three points with four matches remaining but they can not afford any more slips if they are to remain in contention for the semi-finals.

Workington host relegated Doncaster on Monday, while fifth placed Whitehaven entertain Hunslet on the back of a terrific 42-30 victory at Dewsbury last week.

Coach John Kear was pleased with his side’s result at Doncaster but knows the task will be much sterner against a Featherstone side looking to clinch top spot in the Shield.

Kear reflected on the Doncaster win, saying: “The first half was a bit iffy, but the second half was better. There was an element of nervousness and I don’t think we really respected our opposition in the first half.

“They earned our respect with the way they played and in the second half the players stepped up their intensity and execution and played well.

“Both wingers scored two tries, the centres scored and the half-backs, so we played some good rugby.”

Alex Brown missed the trip to Doncaster through illness, while Sean Hesketh had a dead leg but Batley are hoping both are fit to face Featherstone.

Johnny Campbell has undergone a successful operation on his broken leg and dislocated ankle sustained against Dewsbury and is expected to face around four months’ rehabilitation.

The Batley Bulldogs independent supporters away travel are running a coach to Featherstone on Sunday.

The bus leaves the Woodman pub in Batley Carr at 12.30pm and the cost is £8.

To book a seat call Michael Gothard on 07516302665.