Bulldogs relishing tasty Halifax clash

Batley's Tom Holland is held up by Barrow prop Ryan Duffy during Sunday's Championship clash. Picture: Paul Butterfield
Batley's Tom Holland is held up by Barrow prop Ryan Duffy during Sunday's Championship clash. Picture: Paul Butterfield

Batley Bulldogs are relishing the prospect of locking horns with Halifax in another stern test in the Betfred Championship on Sunday (ko 3pm).

Batley recovered from a slow start to score 32 unanswered points against a useful Barrow side last Sunday and the Bulldogs will target back-to-back home league wins against their West Yorkshire rivals.

Bulldogs coach Matt Diskin was satisfield with the way his side recovered from going 12-0 down early on to record a 32-12 victory but knows the visit of top-four hopefuls Halifax is likely to provide a tougher test.

Diskin said: “Halifax have some real pedigree, you look at their league position and where they have placed the last few years, it has been fantastic, so it will be a really tough game, but we feel against anyone at home we have a chance.

“We train on the ground three times a week and to us the slope isn’t noticeable, I think its more of an opposition thing when they come here.

“Jim (Morley), the groundsman, has got a bit of a thankless task because we do train on the pitch.

“We try our best not to do too much of the turf scraping drills on it but sometimes you can’t help it and he does a great job in getting it into such a great shape each week.”

Diskin has plenty of options to weigh up ahead of the game, adding: “James Davey missed out (against Barrow) from a tactical point of view because we wanted to bring Tom Hemingway on and utilise Patch Walker at loose forward.”

Sam Smeaton is back in full training, while Lewis Galbraith and James Harrison could come into the reckoning for Batley, who were hoping Adam Gledhill will be fit after tweaking a knee against Barrow.

Diskin added: “It was good to get off to a winning start at home. I thought we took a while to get into the game and we started quite slow.

“We didn’t really have a grasp on the ruck early on and they played quite quick on us and rolled us down the middle.

“Once we got a foothold in the game and got some field position, we scored some good tries.

“We had seven unforced errors in the first half. That was only our third game in but as we go through the year we have got to reduce that as you can’t give the ball away and hand that many opportunities otherwise you will get punished.”