Bulldogs put Knights to the sword

Matty Fozard holds off a Normanton defender on the way to scoring one of his hat-trick on his Batley Bulldogs debut.
Matty Fozard holds off a Normanton defender on the way to scoring one of his hat-trick on his Batley Bulldogs debut.

Batley Bulldogs eased into the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup fifth round with a convincing 78-6 victory over plucky amateurs Normanton Knights at Wakefield Trinity last Saturday.

The Bulldogs produced a clinical attacking display to run in 14 tries, while Cain Southernwood landed 11 conversions as Batley brushed aside the National Conference outfit.

Matty Fozard ran in a nine-minute hat-trick after coming off the bench for his debut following a loan move from St Helens.

There was also a try apiece for fellow debutants Brad Hey, Tom Thackray and Brad Day on a very satisfactory afternoon for the Bulldogs.

Batley started well and went ahead after just seven minutes with Thackray’s first try for the club, which Southernwood converted.

Forwards Keegan Hirst and James Brown then drove the Knights back before winger Wayne Reittie held off two defenders to force his way over wide out.

Day bagged a debut try after 19 minutes and Southernwood converted as Batley raced into a 16-0 lead inside the first quarter.

Full-back Jonathan Hodgson brought a huge cheer from the 851-strong crowd when he replied with a try for Normanton and Adrian Mulachy converted.

But that was as good as it got for the Knights as Batley resumed their supremacy to put the tie beyond Normanton’s reach before half-time.

Southernwood crossed for a 25th minute try which he improved before Joe Chandler added his second try in as many matches and a fourth Southernwood conversion stretched Batley’s half-time lead to 28-6.

Any question Batley would ease off in the second half were answered when prop Tom Lillycrop romped over just three minutes after the re-start and Southernwood converted.

Fozard then took a grip on the game, running in a quickfire treble and two further Southernwood goals brought up the Bulldogs’ half-century.

As the brave Knights tired, Batley’s supremacy showed in the final 15 minutes as they ran in a further five tries.

Anthony Nicholson is relishing his new role at scrum half and followed up his superb showing against Bradford Bulls the previous week, with a 65th minute try, which Southernwood improved.

Hirst forced his way over and winger Johnny Campbell added the first of his brace, before Hey bagged his debut try.

Campbell rounded off the scoring with his second a minute from full-time.