New-look Batley suffer nine-try loss at Leigh

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Batley’s 2014 Championship season got off to a calamitous start with this heavy defeat by Leigh Centurions.

Miles Greenwood and Jake Connor’s tries were mere consolation as the Bulldogs conceded nine tries, despite taking an early lead.

Hoping to get off to a good start at the stadium where they lost the Grand Final last year against Sheffield Eagles, Batley’s new-look outfit were unable to avoid a big loss. The Bulldogs failed to build from a bright start, which saw them 6-0 up to the good thanks to a supperb Greenwood try.

Debutant Scott Leatherbarrow’s delightful chip in behind the Centurions’ defence was perfectly timed for Greenwood to scoop up the ball and cross.

It wasn’t long though before John Kear’s men were blown away in 20 minutes by the hosts with tries for Stuart Littler, Ryan Brierley and Bob Beswick. Brierley’s second on the stroke of half time had Batley 22-6 down at the break.

What was clear from the opening 40 minutes was that with seven players making their first appearances, the new-look squad was struggling to gel.

Things didn’t get much better in the second half. Leigh ran in a further five tries, with Brierley completing his hat-trick, adding to a double from Tom Spencer, as well as a try each for Adam Higson and Matthew Sarsfield.

Connor’s try did little to warm the hearts of the travelling fans, as Batley headed home with much to ponder ahead of upcoming fixtures.

Leigh: McNally, Higson, Littler, Armstrong, Brown, Ridyard, Brierley; Spencer, Beswick, Duffy, Sarsfield, Goulden, Barlow. Substitutes: Kay, Wilkes, Haggerty, Emmitt.

Batley: Greenwood, Blackmore, Bretherton, Paterson, Connor, Davies, Leatherbarrow; Smith, Leak, Gledhill, Chandler, Scott, Applegarth. Substitutes: Nicholson, Rowe, Mason, Leary.

Referee: M Thomason (RFL).

North Wales Crusaders got their season off to a fine start with a 34-16 win over Barrow Raiders.

Crusaders’ tries came from Stuart Reardon, Rob Massam, Karl Ashall, Tommy Johnson – who also kicked five goals – Craig Ashall and Toby Adamson.