Coach Kear magnanimous in narrow defeat to rivals

Bulldogs winger Wayne Reittie dives for the try line but ends just short during a tense Kingstone Press Championship derby against Halifax last Sunday.
Bulldogs winger Wayne Reittie dives for the try line but ends just short during a tense Kingstone Press Championship derby against Halifax last Sunday.

Batley Bulldogs coach John Kear admitted he was keen to watch a re-run of last Sunday’s derby, which saw his side edged out 6-2 by Halifax.

The Bulldogs competed well and created the better chances but were unable to breach the Halifax defence as at least four first half opportunities went begging.

Batley were severely hampered by a 13-6 penalty count against them, with the Bulldogs only receiving two penalties playing down the slope in the second half, to Halifax’s six.

Kear was magnanimous in defeat but admitted he would enjoy looking back at some of the key moments in the game.

He said: “I am not saying we were angels and shouldn’t have been penalised but I am certain we shouldn’t be getting penalised two to their one.

“When you go set for set, you have a good chance of winning but when the penalty count is 13 to six it makes it very difficult, so either we are doing something wrong or someone else is doing something wrong and I’ll let the conclusion come from you guys (members of the press).”

The key moment came in the closing stages when Batley winger Wayne Reittie challenged Fax full-back Miles Greenwood following a kick through but as the ball broke in the Bulldogs favour, they were again penalised.

Kear added: “If you kick the ball through you challenge for the ball and if it’s an illegal challenge it’s an illegal challenge but I will have to look at it again and go frame by frame.

“I know the referee has just one chance to look at it but I do feel the 50 50 decisions didn’t go our way.”

Despite suffering a first defeat of the season, Kear was happy with his side’s defensive effort, adding: “I thought both teams defended really well.

“The conditions determined you couldn’t play much football, that was the top and bottom of it.

“There were going to be very few chances and the team who took the odd one or two were going to come away with the spoils.

“Unfortunately, we switched off once with our inside defence and they went back against the grain and came up with a try.

“I also felt in the first half that we had two or three chances which we failed to nail and if we are going to be where we want to be you’ve got to take them.

“Halifax had one chance and scored and we probably had three or four chances but failed to convert any, so the scoreboard indicates they were deserved winners.

“The game has gone into the last minute with either team able to win and if you get that is has been a good game for me.”

Batley will look to bounce straight back on Sunday when they travel to Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium to take on Sheffield Eagles.