Batley 50 Whitehaven 0: Bulldogs celebrate in style at Mount Pleasant

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Alex Brown scored a hat-trick of tries as Batley Bulldogs marked their 120th-anniversary celebrations in style at The Fox’s Biscuits’ Stadium yesterday afternoon, writes Oliver Roby.

To the day, 120 years ago, Batley edged out Hull FC 7-3 at Mount Pleasant in their first ever rugby league game, but yesterday’s fixture proved to be much more comfortable as they fired a warning to their Championship Shield rivals with a 50-0 win over Whitehaven.

The home side took a 20-0 lead into half-time, forcing their way ahead with scores from Shaun Squires and Brad Day, alongside a brace from Alex Brown, Scott Leatherbarrow kicking two goals.

And their dominance didn’t stop in the second period as Brown completed his treble, while there were scores for Luke Blake, Keegan Hirst, Shaun Ainscough, which brought the biggest cheer of the day after his costly blunder last week, and a brace for James Brown.

With his side scoring all manner of tries, from the brute strength of Hirst, to Blake’s fleet of foot, Batley chief John Kear was left marveling at his side’s attacking play, but declared himself happier with their defensive efforts.

“I thought it was an excellent all-round performance today,” Kear said.

“We attacked well and scored some superb tries, but I thought our commitment in defence was outstanding. I was probably more pleased with the zero than the 50.

Batley Bulldogs: Craven, Ainscough, Squires, Cosgrove, A. Brown, Southernwood, Leatherbarrow, Hirst, Blake, Rowe, Scott, Day, J. Brown. Substitutes: Nicholson, Lillycrop, Hesketh, Bretherton.

Whitehaven: Chamberlain, Wilde, Taylor, McAvoy, Parker, Aiye, Gore, Beaumont, Fox, Allen, Hepi, Brooks, Coyle. Substitutes: Newton, T. Chapelhow, Griffiths, Davies.

Referee: J Roberts (RFL).