Classy Bulldogs put sorry Bulls to the sword

Batley Bulldogs celebrate after Alistair Leak touches down on his way to scoring a hat-trick of tries during last Sundays impressive win over Bradford Bulls.
Batley Bulldogs celebrate after Alistair Leak touches down on his way to scoring a hat-trick of tries during last Sundays impressive win over Bradford Bulls.

Batley Bulldogs ran in eight tries in the space of just 27 minutes to record a 44-18 victory away to Bradford Bulls and cement second place in the Kingstone Press Championship Shield.

Bradford belied their foot of the table position to run in two early converted tries but once Matt Diskin’s side got going there was no stopping the rampant Bulldogs as they racked up a 14th win of the season.

James Harrison and Alistair Leak led the way as each registered a hat-trick of tries, while Patch Walker landed seven conversions to put Batley on the brink of securing a home semi-final in the Shield.

Bradford struck before Batley had even touched the ball as the kick off when into touch and hooker Sam Hallas darted over from acting half-back.

The home side’s bright start continued when Liam Kirk barged over and two Cory Aston conversions put Batley 12-0 ahead in as many minutes.

Batley responded well and having taken play close to the line, Leak scooted over from acting half-back to kick start the Bulldogs’ dominance.

Three minutes later, Leak’s short pass sent Harrison crashing over, with Walker converting.

Harrison was on the end of a lovely passing move to grab his second and the former Bradford youth player completed a nine minute hat-trick when he gathered Dominic Brambani’s pass to cross.

Leak repeated his first try by again darting over from acting half back after Bradford had been penalised and three Walker goals meant Batley had registered 26 unanswered points.

It took Batley just four minutes after the re-start to register a sixth try of the afternoon as Bradford again infringed and Batley once more chose to run the ball.

Brad Day shrugged off a Bulls defender and Walker converted as the visitors led 32-12.

The Bulldogs continued to pile on Bradford’s agony and Brambani gathered a pass and sold a lovely dummy to race through a gap and over for another Batley try, which Walker improved.

Leak was gifted his hat-trick when a Lee Smith pass went to ground and the hooker had the simple task of picking up the loose ball and planting it over the line.

Walker converted and Batley had scored 44 points in the space of 27 minutes either side of half-time to put the result beyond doubt.

Batley looked to reach the half-century and Sam Smeaton appeared to have put winger Wayne Reittie over but the pass was ruled forward.

Iliess Macani touched down for a Bulldogs consolation try in the final minute, which Aston improved.

Batley’s impressive attacking, which helped put relegated Bradford to the sword, ensured the Bulldogs completed a first win at Odsal since 1972 and one win from their final three games will ensure a home semi-final in the Shield.