Batley Bulldogs v Rochdale Hornets: We’ll throw everything at getting to Wembley – Matt Diskin

THE 1895 Cup is a big target for Batley Bulldogs who begin their campaign at home to Rochdale Hornets tomorrow (3pm).

By Peter Smith
Sunday, 2nd June 2019, 9:03 am
Batley's Johnny Campbell on the attack.
Batley's Johnny Campbell on the attack.

The new competition, for heartland area Betfred Championship and League One clubs, culminates in a Wembley final in August, on the day of the Coral Challenge Cup decider.

Batley's Toby Everett.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Batley need three wins to book an appearance at the national stadium and coach Matt Diskin said the competition is “one we want to chase”.

He said: “It is an opportunity to have a go at getting to Wembley and not many teams at this level get that chance.

“The 1985 Cup is good exposure for the Championship and we are three wins away from Wembley.

“If we can get past Rochdale and get a good draw we have a good chance of getting there, but every team will be thinking the same thing.

“I know either Bradford and Halifax will be in a Challenge Cup semi-final this year, but it is very unlikely anyone from outside Super League will get to the final.

“The 1895 Cup opens up an avenue for this club to get to Wembley and we are going to be throwing everything into it.”

Rochdale are bottom of the Championship, but Diskin warned: “It is a cup competition and form goes out the window.

“They will be hurting from the Barrow defeat [a 54-10 loss last week] and they have got a new coach and new systems.

“Once they click they will be a formidable side, but hopefully that won’t happen this week.”

Bulldogs have climbed to ninth in the Championship and pulled off one of their most impressive wins of the season last week when they beat Halifax 24-16.

“It was a really good performance,” Diskin said.

“I don’t think the scoreline reflected how dominant we were.

“A couple of errors allowed them field position to score, but we dominated offensively and defensively.

“They have the strength in depth to compete with any team so for us to get a win over them was massive and our form is good at the moment.”