Batley 60 Hunslet 12: Ruthless Bulldogs end season in style

Alex Bretherton
Alex Bretherton
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Batley Bulldogs brought the curtain down on their Kingstone Press Championship Shield campaign with an impressive victory over relegated Hunslet Hawks.

The ruthless Bulldogs ran in 11 tries to end the season fifth in the table.

Scott Leatherbarrow and Shaun Ainscough had terrific games for Batley as the Bulldogs condemned Hunslet to a 22nd defeat of the campaign. The Hawks now return to League One a year after winning promotion.

Leatherbarrow created and scored Batley’s opening try when he kicked right and Wayne Reittie flipped the ball back inside for Ainscough.

The centre stabbed the ball to the in goal area and Leatherbarrow pounced for the try to extend his excellent scoring record to 21 straight matches. Leatherbarrow converted.

Ainscough’s neat pass sent Sam Scott through a gap and he sent Cain Southernwood over for Batley’s second try.

Simon Brown intercepted a pass and looked certain to race the length of the field for Hunslet only to be pulled back for off-sde.

On the back of the penalty Ainsough burrowed over on the right and Leatherbarrow converted.

Shaun Squires intercepted a pass and sent Alex Brown racing over for the try, with Leatherbarrow’s conversion putting Batley 20-0 up at half-time.

The Bulldogs then took complete control after the break. as Leatherbarrow kicked right and Ainscough flicked the ball on for Reittie to score out wide and Leatherbarrow added a terrific touchline goal.

Day leapt to palm a Leatherbarrow kick back for Squires to score and Leatherbarrow added his fourth conversion.

A delighted Adam Gledhill burrowed over for his first try of the season 25 minutes from time and Leathernarrow goaled before Hawks full-back Jimmy Watson replied with a try, with prop James Houstone adding the conversion,

Anthony Nicholson crossed between the posts on his 100th career appearance and Leatherbarrow again goaled.

Full-back James Craven then broke from his own line and raced 90 metres before being hauled down, although Ainscough crossed on the next play and Leatherbarrow’s conversion from wide out brought up Batley’s half century.

Watson added his second try for Hunslet, which Simon Brown converted but Batley finished strongly to add two tries in the final three minutes.

Alex Brown stormed down the slope to score his second try out wide and a superb sweeping move ended with Craven crossing for the 11th try.

Batley allowed second rower Alex Bretherton to take the conversion and he hammered over the goal on what could prove to be his final appearance for the Bulldogs.

It also proved an emotional day for Hawks centre Danny Maun, who has announced his retirement following a long and illustrious career, which included two spells with his home town club Batley.

Batley: Craven; Reittie, Ainscough, Squires, A Brown; Southernwood, Leatherbarrow; Hirst, Blake, Rowe, Scott Day, J Brown. Subs: Nicholson, Gledhill, Hesketh, Bretherton.

Hunslet: Watson; Agoro, Maun, Duckworth, Barnett; S Brown, Ansell; Houston, Lee, Trout, Backhouse, Gee, Grimshaw. Subs: Flanagan, Lyons, Brennan, Castle.

Referee: Chris Leatherbarrow.

Attendance: 737.

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