Matt Diskin demands more from Batley Bulldogs as cup display disappoints

A place in Friday’s quarter-final draw was the only positive Matt Diskin took from Batley Bulldogs’ 38-18 home win over Rochdale Hornets in the 1895 Cup.

Batley's  Johnny Campbell in action against Rochdale,
Batley's Johnny Campbell in action against Rochdale,

Playing downhill, Batley led only 16-12 at half-time, against opponents who were on a nine-game losing run, but four tries in 13 second-half minutes kept the Gallant Youths on the Wembley trail.

“I was very, very disappointed in our first-half performance,” Diskin admitted. “We were very poor, we made too many errors.

Batley Adam Gledhill in action against Rochdale.

“Rochdale were finding the floor and playing it quick and we really struggled with that. We were really average and flat on energy.

“The second half wasn’t a massive improvement, but we were more clinical when we needed to be.

“I’m really not happy with the performance, but am happy to be in the bag for the next round.”

The competition final will be played at the national stadium on the same day as the Coral Challenge Cup showpiece. A Wembley appearance would be huge for Bulldogs, but Diskin warned: “Whoever we get in the next round we know our performance will have to massively improve.

Batley coach Matt Diskin.

“There’s a long way to go yet but, as a club, we know there’s an opportunity. We know there’s some fantastic teams in the competition, but there’s none we fear.

“We know, on our day, we can compete with anyone in the competition. A little bit of fortune with a decent draw here and there and you never know.”

Centre Lewis Galbraith will be assessed by Bulldogs’ medical staff tomorrow after suffering a sprained ankle in the tie yesterday.

“We’ll have a few lads joining full training again next week so we should start to get some numbers back at some point,” Diskin added.