Positives off-set lack of league points insists buoyed Batley boss

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BATLEY BULLDOGS coach John Kear believes his squad have gained plenty from their recent intensive schedule even if no wins were forthcoming.

They rounded off a run of three games in nine days when they pushed Championship leaders Leigh Centurions close before falling 26-12 on Sunday.

That came after fixtures with fellow big-hitters Sheffield Eagles and London Broncos.

Kear’s side remain embroiled in danger in 10th spot but he insisted: “We’ve built further in confidence after a real tough period.

“We’ve not moved up on the league ladder but we’ve learned a lot of how to play rugby league.

“Against Leigh it was eventful, entertaining and good value.

“Conditions were tough and greasy while obviously for us it was our third game in a week so I was delighted with the effort, application and execution.”

Batley were 12-10 up after an hour heading down their famous slope at Mount Pleasant.

But Leigh, whose record-breaking 27-game winning run came to an end the week before at London Broncos, stormed back with a late flurry to regain control.

It means the Bulldogs’ game at Whitehaven on Sunday is all the more important given their opponents are only blow them in the table by virtue of an inferior points difference.

“It is a very important game,” admitted Kear.

“But after we’ve played Bradford Bulls in two weeks’ time we’ve finished facing all the full-time, top teams in the competition.

“We’ll then be looking at those in and around us. We’ve got to now turn our good form into actual wins.”

Batley have a couple of injury concerns with Alex Rowe having to go to hospital with a thumb injury.

He is awaiting an X-ray and Tom Lillycrop – sent off in the final minute for fighting – is in the same position with a forearm problem.