Matt Fozard scored a nine-minute hat-trick as Batley Bulldogs comfortably overcame a spirited Normanton Knights side at Wakefield’s Belle Vue.
With most of the 851-strong crowd behind them, Normanton began well but Tom Thackray silenced the enthusiastic crowd on eight minutes before Wayne Reittie muscled his way over from close range.
Brad Day extended the Bulldogs’ advantage on 19 minutes, skipping in from 20 metres out. However, the biggest cheer came three minutes later, when Knights’ full-back Jonathan Hodgson almost brought the roof off the main stand, touching down under the posts after an angled kick split the ’Dogs defence. Adrian Mulcahy added the extras to make it 16-6, but that would the the last time the amateur side would trouble the scoreboard as Batley clicked through the gears.
Cain Southernwood, who kicked 11 goals, raced in on 25 minutes, then Anthony Nicholson bundled over under the posts to make it 28-6 to Bulldogs at the break. Batley’s Tom Lilycrop powered over on 43 minutes before Fozard got in on the act with his rapid fire treble. Nicholson then notched his second on 65 minutes and, after the resulting kick-off failed to go 10 metres, Brad Hey took the visitors past 60 points just minutes later.
Three tries came in the final eight minutes, with Johnny Campbell scoring twice – including a fine individual effort – either side of a try from Keegan Hirst.
Normanton Knights: Hodgson, A Butterfield, S Lewis, Taylor, Hammond, Alexander, Mulcahy, Waterton, Woolford, Evans, Kelsey, Biscomb, M. Butterfield. Subs (all used): Carroll, Molloy, Hoult, Radcliffe.
Batley Bulldogs: Ainscough, Reittie, Day, Hey, Campbell, Southernwood, Nicholson, Hirst, Leak, Brown, Bretherton, Thackray, Chandler. Subs (all used): Scott, Gledhill, Lillycrop, Fozzard.
Referee: Adam Gill (RFL).