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Match Report: Batley Bulldogs 12-16 Featherstone Rovers

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#1 Chairman LMAO

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:00 PM

Featherstone Rovers inflicted the Bulldogs’ third successive defeat this afternoon as the left the LoveRugbyLeague.com Stadium with a 16-12 victory over John Kear’s charges.

by Mark Ward

Every so often, a game comes along where the outcome is decided more by what doesn’t happen that what does. Defence and tries both win games, depending on who you listen to in the game, but this afternoon’s clash between title contenders Batley and Featherstone hinged more on the “what might have been”. Much of the pre-match conversation around the ground seemed centred on the imminent announcement of the new Castleford Tigers head coach. However, much of the post-match discussion concerned no less than three game-breaking situations which cost the Bulldogs any chance of victory and secured a crucial win for the visitors.

On 23 minutes, with the Bulldogs trailing 0-6 after their touchline defence was sucked in allowing Will Sharp to score with ease on 13 minutes (converted by Liam Finn), Ben Black’s bullet pass found Jason Walton with the freedom of the Mount. The powerful centre charged forward with only Ian Hardman between him and the try-line before inexplicably stopping in his tracks to take a tackle with an unshackled Gareth Potts on his outside.

However, on 33 minutes, with the hosts on the front foot, Ben Black’s deft chip on the last tackle cannoned off the upright allowing the diminutive stand-off to scoop up his own kick and dart under the posts to score. Moore converted with comfort to bring the scores level, before the second costly key incident for the Bulldogs on 37 minutes. With Featherstone on the attack, Black picked off a forward pass and hared down the slope for an almost certain try only for referee Leatherbarrow to controversially pull back the play for a Batley penalty, negating a very clear and obvious advantage!

There was a small crumb of comfort for the hosts on 40 minutes however, when Rovers were penalised for laying on and Moore kicked for goal from 40 metres to edge the Bulldogs into an 8-6 advantage.


The third game-breaking moment was arguably the two opportunities that the Bulldogs spurned in the second-half to take relatively simple penalties in front of the sticks with the visitors reeling. A very crucial four points declined in the game's final analysis.

Facing down the slope in the second-half, Featherstone undoubtedly dominated the opening exchanges of the half, and scored twice to wrestle control of the game from their opponents. On 48 minutes, Rovers hit the front with an untidy try in the corner as Johnny Campbell palmed a loose ball into the welcoming arms of dual-registered Frankie Mariano who touched down in the corner. Liam Finn's miraculous touchline conversion edge the visitors into a 12-8 lead and, on 64 minutes Fev all but sealed victory as Tim Spears capped off a flowing move, but this time Finn failed with the extras. Trailing 16-8 it was at this point that the Bulldogs decided on running the ball twice rather than taking the two on offer and it ultimately proved to be their undoing as the hosts finished the game the stronger.

On 68 minutes, the Bulldogs thought they had scored when Campbell crossed the line from Black's pass, but the try was chalked off for a forward pass, and then just two minutes later Gareth Potts headed to the corner only to be bundled into touch in-goal by some enthusiastic markers. However, on 76 minutes Batley finally found a way through - Greg Johnson skipped clear on the left for a sparkling try in the corner. Moore was unlucky as his conversion rebounded off the upright but the Bulldogs failed to make any further impression as Featherstone closed out a crucial win to leave the Bulldogs languishing in fifth place on the league ladder this evening.

BATLEY BULLDOGS: 5 Campbell, 2 Potts, 3 Walton, 20 Faal, 21 G. Johnson, 6 Black, 7 Moore, 8 Smith, 14 Flanagan, 19 Rowe, 11 Bretherton, 17 L. Walmsley, 26 Fairbank. Interchange: 9 Mennell, 13 Lindsay, 15 Hirst, 27 J. Johnson.

T: Black, Johnson

G: Moore 2

FEATHERSTONE ROVERS: 1 Hardman, 5 Hudson, 18 Hepworth, 26 Sharp, 2 Saxton, 6 Kain, 7 Finn, 8 England, 14 Ellis, 10 Crossley, 17 Lockwood, 12 Spears, 11 Dale. Interchange: 15 Bryan, 21 Bostock, 22 Bussey, 29 Mariano.

T: Sharp, Mariano, Spears

G: Finn 2

SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-6, 6-6, 8-6, HT, 8-12, 8-16, 12-16

REFEREE: C Leatherbarrow (RFL)

MAN OF THE MATCH: Liam Walmsley (Batley Bulldogs) – starting to follow in his brother’s footsteps

#2 Chairman LMAO

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:10 PM

Can anyone confirm Fev's first scorer? I thought it was Sharp but the BBC has Finn and also has Sharp credited with one of the goals! Er ...

#3 Piggy's mate

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:13 PM

What was the attendance?

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.


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#4 roversspud

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:21 PM

Fev aren't doing dual-registration. Frankie is on a month's loan.

"Out of the way,son. Where's my medal?" Alex Murphy's immortal words as David Hobbs scores his 2nd try in the '83 Cup Final!

#5 frank

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:31 PM

Thanks for the report Mark.Looks like the two mistakes cost the Dogs the points.Firstly the ref not playing the advantage when Black broke from a forward forward pass and then Walton freezing with Potts in support and the line open.Obviously 12 points there and in such a tight game would have brought a win.

Considering the scoreline in the Featherstone ,Halifax game the previous week,one cannot be too disappointed in the result.

#6 Chairman LMAO

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:38 PM

Fev aren't doing dual-registration. Frankie is on a month's loan.

Amended on website. Thanks.

#7 Andrew Vause

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:46 PM

Can anyone confirm Fev's first scorer? I thought it was Sharp but the BBC has Finn and also has Sharp credited with one of the goals! Er ...

Great report LMAO. Will Sharp was indeed the first try scorer with Liam Finn converting.