Home comforts for Dewsbury Rams and Batley Bulldogs in Shield openers

Batley coach Matt Diskin.
Batley coach Matt Diskin.
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HEAVY WOOLLEN neighbours Batley Bulldogs and Dewsbury Rams will both begin their Kingstone Press Championship Shield campaign with a home game on Sunday, August 6.

Batley, who finished sixth in the Championship, will face third-bottom Swinton Lions and eighth-placed Rams take on Rochdale Hornets, the team one place and a single point behind them.

Dewsbury Rams coach, Neil Kelly.

Dewsbury Rams coach, Neil Kelly.

Points from the regular season carry over into the Shield. The top-two at the end of the seven additional fixtures will face off in the competition final and the bottom pair will be relegated.

The Shield fixtures were due to be published on Wednesday, but delayed due to “operational issues”.

Only round one has been confirmed so far and the Rugby Football League say the remaining fixtures will be available by next Monday “at the latest”.

All four Yorkshire teams begin at home. Other round one games see Bradford Bulls play host to Toulouse Olympique and Sheffield Eagles entertain Oldham.

Toulouse look certain to feature in the Shield final, with Batley and Sheffield battling to claim the other place. Bulldogs go into the extra seven games with a two-point advantage. Victory over Rochdale would edge Rams, who lost their opening eight matches, closer to Championship safety. They begin the Shield competition with a five point lead over Oldham.

Neil Kelly.

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