Derby triumph caps Kear’s historic year

Batley's Sam Scott attempts to force his way through a solid Dewsbury defence during the Boxing Day derby.
Batley's Sam Scott attempts to force his way through a solid Dewsbury defence during the Boxing Day derby.

Batley Bulldogs coach John Kear celebrated a memorable 12 months with his side’s Boxing Day derby victory at Dewsbury Rams.

Batley fought back from 4-0 down at half-time to win 12-4, recording a fourth straight Boxing Day triumph as they also retained the Roy Powell Trophy.

The match also saw Kear complete a remarkable year which has seen him coach a game in each month of 2015.

Kear’s hectic 12 months began with him guiding Batley through their pre-season programme in January before the regular Championship campaign ran from February through to October.

After ensuring Batley secured their place in the Championship for 2016, Kear switched roles as he then guided the Welsh national team to European Championship glory in November before signing off the year in style with victory in last Saturday’s festive derby clash.

Kear was pleased with his side’s display against Dewsbury, saying: “When it was a game like that, you learn a lot about people’s character and I think we demonstrated a togetherness and desire to win by the bucket load.

“We kept losing the ball and I think we completed nine out of 20 sets (in the first half) but the complement was we defended well and kept ourselves in the game.

“I thought our scrum half (Dominic Brambani) really dominated his end of sets and I was really pleased.

“I think Dewsbury only had about half a dozen play the balls in our half in the second half, which is compliment to our lads how they turned the game around.

“If your team buys into defending you will have half a chance in any game.

“We have picked up the win and picked up no injuries so we were able to enjoy a nice Boxing Day evening.”