Rochdale Hornets 10-48 Batley Bulldogs
Saturday 12th May 2018, 15:00pm
Championship - Round: 1
Declan Kay 2,
Michael Ward, Jason Crookes, Lewis Galbraith, Bradley Day, Shaun Ainscough, Izaac Farrell, Adam Gledhill, Dominic Brambani,
Pat Walker 7, Izaac Farrell,
ALAN Kilshaw was left frustrated as Hornets slumped to a 10-48 home defeat to Batley Bulldogs in a game he called ‘men against boys’.
Kilshaw was forced to reshuffle his already patched up side that won at Dewsbury last week as Earl Hurst, Richard Lepori, Gary Middlehurst and Lewis Hatton were all ruled out. Hornets then lost Dave Allen 30 minutes before kick-off who was replaced by Alex Gaskell, forcing further reorder to the line-up.
In a game that Hornets started so well, it took Batley a while to get a foot hold but eventually their physical dominance showed and on the back of some strong carries and quick play the balls they set the tone for the afternoon with the big men laying the foundations for an impressive eight try performance.
Despite the adversity, Hornets started the brighter of the two and were firmly in the grind and eventually drew a penalty 41m out. Tyler Whittaker opted for a kick at goal that drifted agonisingly wide. In the next set Hornets were put on alert with Batley rolling 80m up the field to crash over for the opening score but the referee spotted a knock on in the build-up and Hornets were off the hook.
Hornets wasted no time hitting back with some committed build up play freeing up Jonah Cunningham on the line who burrowed over from acting half only to be held up. On the next play the ball was shipped out wide with Danny Yates who took the ball into the guts of the defence to double pump the pass to Dec Kay who ghosted in for the opening score. The kick too much from wide out for Whittaker but Hornets lead 4-0.
With Batley seemingly realising they were in a game they applied real pressure on the Hornets line, first pinning Dec Kay in goal to force the drop out and then the big man Alex Rowe barging his way to the line only to be stood up on the final tackle – in the next set, Hornets would be the masters of their own demise, handing Batley a penalty against the play, being pulled for obstruction in front of their own line.
With the visitors camped on the Hornets line it was ex-Oldham wrecking ball, Michael Ward who hit the flat pass at pace to crash over. Patrick Walker adding the goal to give the visitors a 4-6 lead.
Hornets continued to play at the Batley line and eventually looked to have a way through with Yates slicing through the defence to open up a two v one with the full back but the slack pass went to ground with Hornets failing to capitalise, and it would be their last clear cut chance of the half with the Bulldogs racking up three quick-fire scores to all but seal it by half time.
Three scores in 10 minutes from Gareth Crooks, ex-Hornets Lewis Galbraith and Brad Day were all converted by Walker to send Hornets in 4-24 down at half time.
The second half started as the first had finished. Batley breaking from deep to cross for what looked like a classy score but the referee spotted a forward pass in the build up.
There was then a glimmer of hope for the hosts as Lewis Galbraith was sent to the sin bin for dissent and Hornets hoped they could make the extra man count, but they couldn’t.
With Batley continuing to apply pressure, they grabbed another two tries in quick succession. The first a Shaun Ainscough interception on 50m to race in for a score before Izaac Farrell jinked through the Hornets defence three minutes later. Both converted for 4-36.
Hornets would hit back with a consolation. Dec Kay again making use of a Deon Cross break up the right flank. Whittaker with the goal 10-36.
Two further scores in the final eight minutes inflated the score line for Batley with Adam Gledhill and Dom Brambani crossing for Walker to make it 100% with the boot.
With the full time hooter sounding, Alan Kilshaw will be looking to fix his side up as quick as possible as the both sides go head to head again next week at Mount Pleasant with the Hornets coach warning Matt Diskin’s side not to count his side out ahead of the pivotal Championship clash.