Batley Bulldogs returned to winning ways in the Betfred Championship with a resounding 48-10 victory away to Rochdale Hornets last Saturday.
It was the first leg of back-to-back fixtures against the Hornets, who travel to Fox’s Biscuits Stadium this Sunday when the Bulldogs will be aiming to complete a quickfire double.
In a lively opening, Rochdale were off target with an early penalty attempt, while Batley went close at the other end but Brad Day dropped the ball over the try line.
Rochdale struck the first blow as good attacking play took them close and Kay gathered a short fast pass to storm over but the conversion was missed.
Batley hit back with a 10th minute try as prop Alex Rowe produced a storming run to the line but was deemed held up only for substitute Michael Ward to receive the ball immediately after coming off the bench and carried several defenders over the line with a powerful burst and he managed to get the ball down, with Patch Walker converting.
Batley’s forwards were proving a real handful and they again had Rochdale on the back foot.
Joel Farrell fed Walker and he in turn sent Jason Crookes diving in at the corner. Walker landed a terrific conversion and the Bulldogs led 12-4.
More neat handling down the left created space for former Rochdale man Lewis Galbraith to race over and soon after the Bulldogs were back on attack.
Alistair Leak darted from acting half back and found Day in support to send him over for their fourth try.
Walker maintained his 100 per cent kicking record with both conversions and the Bulldogs led 24-4 at half-time.
Rochdale were given hope of mounting a fightback early in the second half as Galbraith was sin-binned for back chat.
The home side were looking to mount an attack but Shaun Ainscough intercepted a long pass and raced 50 metres for a try, which Walker improved.
Batley were in complete control and Izaac Farrell produced some neat footwork to sidestep the defence and nip over from close range. Walker added his sixth goal and the Bulldogs extended their lead to 36-4.
Rochdale had won at Dewsbury the previous week and showed their attacking prowess when they took place close and Kay stretched over for his second try of the afternoon which Tyler Whittaker converted.
Jonah Cunningham was sin-binned for holding Ainscough down in a tackle and Batley regained their supremacy .
Full-back Dave Scott broke through but was tackled just short of the line.
From Batley’s next attack, Izaac Farrell sent the supporting Adam Gledhill storming over for a try which Farrell improved.
Rowe produced another storming run and flung a pass out for Dominic Brambani to round off the move with his side’s eighth try of the afternoon and Farrell again converted as the Bulldogs closed to within four points of joint fifth placed sides Halifax and Leigh.