Batley Bulldogs consolidated third place in the Betfred Championship Shield with an impressive 36-16 victory away to Barrow Raiders last Sunday.
Victory leaves the Bulldogs third in the Shield standings and while they can not qualify for the final, Batley showed no signs of allowing the season to peter out.
Winger Johnny Campbell was the Bulldogs star as he celebrated signing a contract extension to the end of 2019 by scoring a hat-trick of tries.
Batley also had French half-back Louis Jouffret in terrific form as he was at the hub of his side’s best attacking moves.
Gregory Gambaro gave Barrow a fourth minute lead when the French loanee crossed for his first try for the club.
Batley hit back to equalise soon after and then went on to dominate the game as they ran in seven tries against a side who are renowned to be tough opponents on home soil.
Campbell was on the end of a fine passing move to score in the corner to restore parity.
Jouffret then combined with Lewis Galbraith direct from a scrum to send Campbell racing over for his second try wide out.
Dave Scott was unable to convert either of Campbell’s tries but the Bulldogs extended their lead in the 24th minute when Dominic Brambani kicked through and when the Barrow defence hesitated, he raced through to pounce for a try which Scott improved.
Batley struck again before half-time when Jouffret’s neat short pas send Brad Day storming over to score and Scott converted to put them 20-4 ahead.
Barrow, who are not yet safe from relegation, began the second half strongly as Lewis Charnock scored a terrific individual try on his return from injury and Jamie Dallimore landed the goal.
Barrow had a further spell of pressure but the Batley defence remained solid and having weathered the storm, they struck with a fifth try when Jouffret broke down the right and sent Dave Scott racing over, with the full-back also adding the goal.
Jouffret was proving a real handful for the Barrow defence and he was on hand to set up Campbell’s hat-trick try after 63 minutes which extended the lead to 30-10.
Patch Walker fed Day and the second row man spun out of a tackle to crash over for his second try of the match which Walker converted to put the result beyond doubt.
Barrow did manage to have the last word when Matty Holmes crossed for their third try six minutes from full-time and Dallimore tagged on the goal but is was a mere consolation as the Bulldogs made a happy return from Cumbria.
The Batley display impressed Barrow coach Paul Crarey, who described them as the Championship’s best part time club.
Batley hold a three point advantage over fourth placed Dewsbury and they host bottom side Rochdale on Sunday.