Bulldogs mark anniversary in style with Haven success

Alex Brown beats Whitehaven's Ed Chamberlain to dive over for a Bulldogs try last Sunday.
Alex Brown beats Whitehaven's Ed Chamberlain to dive over for a Bulldogs try last Sunday.

Batley Bulldogs celebrated their 120th anniversary in style last Sunday as they racked up a half century against Whitehaven.

The 50-0 win keeps Batley two points above the Kingstone Press Championship Shield relegation zone and one win from their remaining two matches should be enough to confirm survival.

A top-four finish and a place in the Shield semi-finals is not beyond doubt either, although Batley would have to win both their final matches and hope Workington do not pick up another point.

Haven coach James Coyle has seen shortlisted for Championship coach of the year but his side had no answer to the rampant Bulldogs as they ran in 10 tries.

The winning margin could have been even greater had Scott Leatherbarrow landed more than his five goals from 11 attempts.

Winger Alex Brown led the way with a hat-trick of tries and he has scored 11 in as many appearances since joining on loan.

Batley led inside three minutes through a Leatherbarrow penalty before a slick move sent Alex Brown racing down the left wing and diving in at the corner.

Another fine passing move ended with centre Elliot Cosgrove sending Brown in for a second quickfire try and the Bulldogs led 10-0 after 14 minutes.

A neat Cain Southernwood grubber kick was pounced on by Brad Day for Batley’s third try and Leatherbarrow converted to stretch the advantage.

With Whitehaven looking to mount a rare attack into Batley territory, Shaun Squires intercepted a pass and raced from halfway for the fourth try as the Bulldogs led 20-0 at the break .

Batley continued to dominate after the restart and Luke Blake gathered a pass to beat full-back Ed Chamberlain and score between the posts to give Leatherbarrow a simple goal.

Shaun Ainscough was denied a try by a forward pass but from the scrum, Haven conceded possession and Alex Brown was sent over to complete his hat-trick.

James Brown beat two defenders to cross for Batley’s seventh try and Leatherbarrow’s goal stretched the lead to 36-0.

Keegan Hirst crashed over from short range and Leatherbarrow again kicked the extras .

Ainscough was sent over in the corner against his former club as Batley showed no sign of easing off in the closing stages.

James Brown scored his second of the afternoon from acting half-back as the Bulldogs reached the half century on a day when the club celebrated 120 years to the day since playing their first fixture.