BatLey Bulldogs ensured they will have home advantage in the Kingstone Press Championship Shield as they recorded a comfortable 38-0 victory over meighbours Dewsbury Rams at Fox’s Biscuits Stadium last Sunday.
Victory was enough to ensure Batley will finish second in the group stages as they produced an excellent all-round display, while it now appears Dewsbury will face a trip to Toulouse in the semi-finals.
Batley used the slope to their advantage as the built up a 16-0 half-time lead before dominating the second period to keep the Rams scoreless.
Former Ram Jason Crookes looked to have opened the scoring early on when he was sent storming through a gap only to be pulled back for a forward pass.
Batley continued to pile on the pressure and full-back Dave Scott was only denied by a fierce Dale Morton tackle close to the line.
Dewsbury were dealt a blow when stand-in full-back James Glover was forced off with a head injury..
Batley eventually went ahead as quick handling saw the Bulldogs move play wide and Sam Smeaton sent winger Wayne Reittie over wide out but Patch Walker was unable to convert.
Dominic Brambani’s high kick was spilled in front of the Rams posts and Batley took advantage from the resulting set, with Reittie sent over for his second try which Walker converted.
Dewsbury responded with their best spell of the match as they forced repeat sets and dangerous kicks from Dominic Speakman twice forced Batley to drop out but the Bulldogs defence remained firm to keep the visitors at bay.
Having weathered the spell of pressure, Batley struck with a third try before half-time as successive penalties took them downfield.
Dane Manning produced a surging run, taking him past several Rams defenders before stepping inside to score, with Walker converting for a 16-0 interval lead.
The Rams looked to hit back at the start of the second half when Lucas Walshaw broke on a free play, but his offload went to ground and Dewsbury were unable to take advantage when play was brought back for a scrum.
Batley replied with a fourth try as a long looping pass sent Reittie diving over for his hat-trick, which Walker again improved.
Batley surged back up the slope and Reittie was on the end of another neat passing move to grab his fourth try of the afternoon.
Walker was unable to convert but Batley had built up a 26-0 lead and they continued to dominate and added two further tries to complete victory.
Manning stormed over for his second try of the match, with Walker converting from wide out.
Alex Rowe then showed his strength to surge past the Rams defence and stretch over for the final try, with Walker again converting to cap an excellent all-round effort by the Bulldogs.