Crunch clash awaits as Bulldogs face Dons

Alex Rowe has been instrumental for Batley this season and scored one of the Bulldogs three tries at Bradford Bulls.
Alex Rowe has been instrumental for Batley this season and scored one of the Bulldogs three tries at Bradford Bulls.
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Batley Bulldogs will aim to end an eight-match losing run when they entertain bottom side Doncaster in a crucial clash on Sunday (3pm).

The Bulldogs have not won since securing an impressive 23-10 victory away to Workington Town on May 10.

Batley’s run of defeats includes seven in the Kingstone Championship and a 26-22 Challenge Cup loss at Super League Widnes Vikings, when they went close to snatching a dramatic late victory.

Batley have slipped to second-bottom in the Championship, a point behind Workington and two adrift of Hunslet Hawks, with four matches remaining until the competition splits into two.

Although Batley are on a losing run, some of their recent performances, against full-time opponents, have offered real hope, not least last week’s display at Bradford Bulls.

Batley only trailed 20-10 after 66 minutes when Shaun Ainscough was sent off and Bradford pulled clear late on.

Doncaster arrive at Batley having lost all 19 league games so far and the Bulldogs will be determined they don’t break their duck on Sunday.

Forward Alex Rowe has been one of Batley’s stand-out players this season and celebrated playing his 200th career game in the recent game against Leigh Centurions.

Rowe was on the scoresheet against Bradford and with Cain Southernwood returning from injury to partner Scott Leatherbarrow at half-back, the Bulldogs showed more attacking prowess.

Following the visit of Doncaster, Batley face a tough trip to top-four chasing Halifax, host Hunslet Hawks on July 19 and finish the first part of the season away to Dewsbury.

Batley have allowed Tom Thackray to move on loan to League One side Swinton Lions in a bid to get him more game time.