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17 February 2020

Tries from Mitch Cox and Frankie Halton weren’t enough in a second half comeback as Batley took the points at Mount Pleasant.

Batley Bulldogs 20-10 Swinton Lions

The Lions suffered their first defeat of the season on the heavy pitch at Batley.

Despite the best efforts of storm Dennis the night before the game was able to go ahead.

Stuart Littler was able to name a side with only one change from the victory up at Whitehaven a fortnight ago and despite a tough first half they put in a great effort in the second half but fell just short on the scoreboard.

Bulldogs made a good start playing down the slope when Danny Yates broke away to feed winger Jonny Campbell who scored in the left corner but Luke Hooley could not convert from the touchline. The Lions tried to hit back but Brandon Wood could not take a tricky pass in the wind and the ball went to ground. After that the home side had several chances but the Lions defence was scrambling and managed to hold them out.

Bulldogs prop forward Toby Everett was sent to the sin bin on twenty minutes for an off the ball tackle on Rob Fairclough, but the Lions could not capitalise on the extra man and in fact it was the home side that scored again. Campbell beat Wood to a bomb kick in the corner to score but again no conversion from Hooley. Dane Manning then added a third Batley try ten minutes from the break when he crashed over from short range and Dale Morton converted this one.

Bulldogs winger Wayne Reittie was then sent to the sin-bin for kicking a player in the tackle having originally been shown the red card by the referee, he then changed his mind and showed a yellow instead.

Once again it was the home side, minus a player who made the most of the attack and as the half time hooter sounded Michael Ward crashed over under the posts to score and Morton converted to give his side a twenty points to nil advantage at the break.

It was the Lions time to play down the slope in the second half and the performance was much better but this time it was the Bulldogs defence that was scrambling well, thwarting attacks time and time again and Wood had another good chance in the opening minutes of the half but the officials judged the final pass forward. 

There was then a good chance with some link up play between Jack Hansen, Rhodri Lloyd and Mike Butt as the Lions fullback raced through a gap but again it was judged forward. The Lions finally got on the scoreboard on sixty-three minutes when Hansen put a kick to the left and Mitch Cox won the race to touch down but Hansen was unable to convert.

There were more chances but either good tackles or ball handling errors were frustrating the Lions until Hansen again set up another one to send Frankie Halton over by the posts and Hansen converted this one with six minutes left. There were more chances but this time the Bulldogs held out to claim the points.

Ian Rigg reporting from the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium



Bulldogs: Hooley, Reittie, Morton, Galbraith, Campbell, White, Yates, Everett, Leak, Brown, Manning, Walshaw, Bowman. SUBS: Lunt, Dupree, Ward, Blagbrough.

Tries: Campbell (3, 25), Manning (29), Ward (40)

Goals: Hooley 0/2 , Morton 2/2


Lions: Butt, Lepori, Morris, Cox, Wood, Hansen, Fairclough, Bennion, Waterworth, Hatton, Lloyd, Halton, Hope. SUBS: Brickhill, Brogan, Jones, Kenga

Tries: Cox (63), Halton (74)

Goals: Hansen ½


Pens: 7-10     Half Time : 20-0     Referee: Billy Pearson


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