In their last preseason game before the Championship season kicks off, Batley will be hoping to gain a win against recently relegated North Wales Crusaders. A victory for the Bulldogs will mark an unbeaten preseason, after wins against Dewsbury, Featherstone and an Heavy Woollen Select side which was coached by Danny Maun. North Wales have played two preseason games so far, beating Warrington Wolves’ Academy side 20-16, but losing away from home last week to Leigh Centurions 42-22.
Batley hosted an Heavy Woollen outfit last week, the amateur side was picked from the best teams in the region. A 68-6 win for Batley was to be expected, but Danny Maun’s side deservedly left the field with their head held high. The Heavy Woollen outfit took the lead after three minutes courtesy of stand-off Joel Gibson. Batley then replied with tries from prop forward Adam Gledhill and trialist Jordan Anderson. Cain Southernwood, on debut for the Bulldogs, converted both scores for a 12-6 lead. Alistair Leak and Jordan Grayston rounded off the Batley scoring for the half, Southernwood adding the extras on both occasions again. 24-6 at the break.
An early second half double from Johnny Campbell got Batley off on the right foot. Lee Mitchell added to the scoring, along with Wayne Reittie and Ayden Faal. Three conversions were kicked from Southernwood, who will be hoping to progress well at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium after his move from Whitehaven. Shaun Squires, and Mitchell again, got on the scoreboard before Reittie collected his brace for the final score of the game. Southernwood converted Squires’ score before being interchanged for Scott Leatherbarrow. Leatherbarrow added the extras on the remaining two tries. Danny Maun will have been proud of his players’ efforts against the well drilled Bulldogs. John Kear, after the final whistle, will have had his sights set on the North Wales game. This Sunday concludes the Bulldogs’ preseason schedule, a win will mark a perfect record for the West Yorkshire side.
North Wales Crusaders were defeated by a youthful, but strong Leigh Centurions side last Sunday. A 42-22 Centurions win was what most people will have expected but the Crusaders put up a decent fight, a fight which will stand them in good stead for the season. The first two tries went the way of the hosts, thanks to Jacque Peet and Sam Hopkins. The Crusaders replied with a score from full-back Tommy Johnson. Corey Lee and Jonathan Pownall added to Leigh’s tally before the half-time hooter. 20-6 to Leigh at half-time
Owain Griffiths started the scoring in the second half for the visitors, a bright opening which will have pleased coach Anthony Murray. Lee and Pownall both collected their braces for Leigh before the fifty minute mark. Lee notched his hat-trick on the 53rd. Gary Middlehurst and Alex Thompson scored tries for Crusaders before the match ended, a Jonny Walker score for the hosts separated the Middlehurst and Thompson tries. It was always going to be a tough test for the Crusaders when they lined up against the current Championship champions, but they will be able to take a lot from the game and will be wanting to upset Batley at the weekend.
The game is at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium on Sunday, starting at 2:30pm. After this game, both teams will have completed their preseason schedule. The #RLNewEra is getting ever closer for the Bulldogs and Crusaders, so this game should be a treat as both sets of players will be bidding for a spot in their respective match day squads.
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