Rochdale Hornets 14-34 Batley Bulldogs
Sunday 13th August 2017, 15:00pm
Super 8s - Round: 2
Jake Eccleston, Kevin Penny, Danny Yates,
Dave Scott 2, Shaun Ainscough, Alex Bretherton 2, Jason Crookes,
Pat Walker 5,
HORNETS STUNG BY BRUTAL BULLDOGS
It was déjà vu for Alan Kilshaw’s men against Batley Bulldogs as the visitors made it three wins to Hornets nil in another clash that could have swung either way.
Kilshaw admitted the score line blew out in the last ten minutes and blamed the amount of defending his side had to do when they were reduced to ten men.
Referee Tom Grant was the centre of attention in the second period dishing out four cards with Gary Middlehurst and Jason Crooks seeing red for an incident following a Batley try despite the former not throwing a punch.
Ben Moores also sat out for ten minutes for his part in the melee with Jordan Case also picking up a yellow card for a separate incident moment later.
The home side were probably the better of the two in the first stanza and were unfortunate not to head back into the sheds with the lead.
Some good build up play with Lewis Foster and Josh Crowley combining saw the ball fed out to Jake Eccleston on the right edge who dummied his way over for the opening score.
The kick was too much for Danny Yates but Hornets led 4-0.
Moments later Batley were penalised for a late challenge on Middlehurst in front of the sticks and Danny Yates added the penalty goal to make it 6-0.
Batley would then have a penalty of their own with Joe Taira pulled back for a late tackle on Shaun Ainscough. From the possession the ball was shipped out to the right channel and the electric Dave Scott put on the footwork to cross for a try on the touchline.
Pat Walker added the goal to level things up.
On the 25-minute mark there was a sign of things to come as the referee blew for a Batley penalty with Middlehurst hanging on in the ruck. There was some pushing and shoving with players from both sides rushing to get stuck in.
With both sides looking to get out of what had become a real arm wrestle, a series of knock-on’s and errors were traded between the teams before Hornets looked to have found a spark. Middlehurst broke the Batley line and was clattered as he fed Gavin Bennion who had grass in front of him before he was tripped with the try like beckoning.
The visitors would then concede a succession of penalties which saw them put on a team warning by Mr. Grant. Hornets took advantage and the ball was played out to the right flank for Kev Penny to leap in and touch down on the flag.
The kick was too much for Yates off the chalk and Hornets lead 10-6.
Following the team warning Hornets had the ball in hand for an age with the ruck now at zero miles per hour as Batley looked to hang on until half time. Despite the constant lying on and hands in, it would be more then 20 minutes until Hornets would receive their next penalty.
Once Batley had the ball in hand they used it well and a smart move was finished by Ainscough with Walker adding a further two points to nudge the visitors in front at the break.
The first 10 minutes of the second half provided an absolute rugby league horror show as both sides overplayed looking to take the game by the scruff of its neck. Forward passes and knock ons aplenty continued before finally Batley took a foot hold.
With Jono Smith forced off with concussion, Jordan Case entered the fray in the second row looking to mix things up in attack but it was Batley who pounced first hoisting a towering bomb up that was too hot to handle for Dec Kay at full back. From the possession Batley pressed the Hornets line with the home side conceding three consecutive penalties.
The ball was finally shipped to the corner for Alex Bretherton to leap in and touch the ball down one handed at the flag. Walker again obliged with the goal and Batley opened up an eight-point lead.
Walker then proved his worth with the boot again, this time grubbering through for Jason Crooks to touch down. A 26-man brawl ensued in the in goal area with Middlehurst and Crooks seeing red with Moores following for a 10-minute stint in the sin bin.
Hornets recognised the task in hand but did themselves no favours as they were reduced to 10 men after Jordan Case was pinged for an incident on the ground.
It wasn’t until down to 10 that they showed their attacking flair with Chris Riley finding an impossible overlap on the left edge to burst up the channel and feed Danny Yates who crashed over to pull it back to 14-22.
It was to be the last score for the home side who had spent the majority of the half defending and Batley went on to throw the kitchen sink at the Hornets line. With three consecutive penalties on the goal line the dam finally breached when the ball was flung out to the left for Bretherton to get his second.
Walker added the two and Batley closed the game out leading 14-28.
Yates went on the hunt for a Hornets consolation with a chip and chase that was scooped up by the Batley man. Joel Farrell broke the depleted line to feed Scott who raced in under the sticks to put the game firmly to bed.
Walker added a further goal on the hooter to record a treble for Batley over Hornets this season