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Campbell bags brilliant treble as Bulldogs overcome Sheffield

Johnny Campbell scored a hat-trick of tries
Johnny Campbell scored a hat-trick of tries

Batley Bulldogs secured a fourth straight win in the Betfred Championship Shield last Sunday as they overpowered Sheffield Eagles with a 44-4 win at Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.

The Bulldogs produced some impressive attacking rugby as they ran in eight tries, with Johnny Campbell continuing his excellent run since returning to the side as he bagged a sparkling hat-trick.

Victory was also enough to see Batley clinch third place in the Shield, behind Featherstone Rovers and Leigh Centurions, who they meet this week.

It took the Bulldogs just 11 minutes to hit the front as former Sheffield favourite Dom Brambani side stepped through the defence to dive over for the opening try, with Dave Scott adding the first of six conversions.

Sheffield’s best chance of the first half came when substitute Blake Broadbent attempted to force his way over but the Batley defence remained solid.

A brilliant passing move saw the ball moved quickly across the field, creating space for Sam Smeaton to cross and Scott was again on target with the conversion.

Batley’s third try came when Brambani ran at the defence and produced a lovely offload for Lewis Galbraith to score and Scott converted to stretch the lead to 18-0 at half-time.

The first of Campbell’s hat-trick came after 70 minutes as he intercepted a pass and raced away for a terrific long range try to cross between the posts and give Scott a simple conversion.

Batley attacked again and Brambani’s dangerous crossfield kick was fumbled by an Eagles defender for Brad Day to gather and score.

Batley then benefited from a free play as Galbraith ran at the defence before finding Campbell in support to send the winger racing over for his second try, which stretched the lead to 32-0.

The Eagles replied with a consolation try 12 minutes from full-time when Batley bound Illies Macani leapt to gather a kick and score but Oscar Thomas was unable to convert.

Batley replied with two tries in the final seven minutes to cap an impressive display.

Galbraith sent Campbell over for his hat-trick try, which Scott converted.

James Brown then marked his 100th game for the Bulldogs when he rounded off another fine passing move with a try in the corner and Scott kicked the touchline goal to complete their 12th win of the season which clinches third place.