Alex Brown scored a hat-trick of tries as Batley Bulldogs marked their 120th-anniversary celebrations in style at The Fox’s Biscuits’ Stadium on Sunday afternoon, writes Oliver Roby.
A 120 years ago to the day, Batley edged out Hull FC 7-3 at Mount Pleasant in their first ever Rugby League game, but yesterday’s fixture proved to be much more comfortable as they fired a warning to their Championship Shield rivals.
The home side took a deserved 20-0 lead into half-time, forcing their way ahead with scores from Shaun Squires and Brad Day, alongside a brace from Brown, Scott Leatherbarrow kicking two goals. And their dominance didn’t stop in the second period as Brown completed his treble, while there were scores for Luke Blake, Keegan Hirst, Shaun Ainscough, which brought the biggest cheer of the day after his blunder last week, and a brace for James Brown.
Batley coach John Kear marvelled at his side’s attacking play, but declared himself happier with their defensive efforts. Kear said: “I thought it was an excellent all-round performance. We attacked well and scored some superb tries, but I thought our commitment in defence was outstanding. I was probably more pleased with the zero than the 50.
“The response, after throwing it away last week, was great to see,” he added. “That kind of incident can be a big mental blow to some sides, but we proved we’re a mentally tough team this week.”
Batley Bulldogs: Craven; Ainscough, Squires, Cosgrove, A Brown; Southernwood, Leatherbarrow; Hirst Blake, Rowe; Scott, Day, J Brown. Subs: Nicholson, Lilycrop, Hesketh, Bretherton.
Whitehaven: Chamberlain; Wilde, Taylor, McAvoy, Parker; Aiye, Gore; Beaumont, Fox, Allen; Hepi, Brookes, Coyle. Subs: Newton, Chapplehow, Griffiths, Davis.
Referee: John Roberts.