Date: Friday 3rd April
Venue: Fox’s Biscuits Stadium
A Heavy Woollen derby of very important proportions. Both teams are level on points going into the traditional Good Friday matchup, so who will take the advantage on the league standings come the end of the tie?
Last Time Out
Batley travelled to Doncaster to face a Dons side who were going into the match with no points on the Championship table. The Bulldogs staged a late fightback to take the spoils back to West Yorkshire as Wayne Reittie and Cain Southernwood’s scores won the game by a slender two points. Doncaster went into the sheds at half-time with a 14-6 lead under their belts after tries from Mitch Clark and dual-registered second-rower Jansin Turgut. A penalty from Dave Scott also extended the hosts’ lead. James Brown crossed the whitewash for Batley, which was their only try of the first half. The aforementioned converted tries from Reittie and Southernwood were the only points scored in the second half and that’s all that was needed for the Bulldogs. Heartbreak for the Dons but jubilation for Batley at the end of the match.
Dewsbury played host to Featherstone Rovers last Friday night for an all West Yorkshire tie between two sides who will be battling it out for a top four spot by the end of the regular season. After a high scoring first half, 20-20 at half-time, Featherstone took the game by the scruff of the neck as they outscored the Rams three tries to zero. In the first 40 minutes of play, Dewsbury went ahead two times in the early stages with tries from Scott Hale and Anthony Thackeray, with Andy Bostock and Will Sharp replying on separate occasions for the Rovers. Paul Sykes and Remy Marginet both crossed for the visitors before Dalton Grant levelled the scores with a minute of the first half remaining. A Kieran Hyde penalty goal edged the hosts in front after the restart but the Rovers ran away from their counterparts thanks to tries from Marginet, Will Milner and Jamie Cording. Tom Hemingway notched a consolation for the Rams on what turned out to be a disappointing night for Glenn Morrison and his troops.
The result of the match can definitely be determined by who wins the battle of the halves. Cain Southernwood and Anthony Nicholson were the half-backs for Batley in their win against Doncaster, and both stood up for their team’s cause when they needed to. A pinpoint kick from Nicholson put a try on a plate for Reittie as the Bulldogs made their comeback. That comeback was complete when Southernwood lunged in from dummy half with a few minutes to spare. For Dewsbury, Matty Wildie and Anthony Thackeray were the half-backs against Featherstone but both were shut out of the second half as Featherstone took control of proceedings. If the Rams are to beat their neighbours at Fox’s Biscuits Stadium, Wildie and Thackeray will need to be on top of their game to counteract the threat that Batley will pose.
Two very well matched sides who have started the 2015 season rather similarly. If one team is to win, then it will only be by a few points either way and nothing more. I can’t split the pair myself, but Batley will probably go into the game as favourites due to home advantage – Draw