Batley Bulldogs v London Broncos - Mount Pleasant side target fifth-straight win

Prior to the start of the season, Batley Bulldogs were not in the conversation when it came to which sides would finish in the Championship’s top six this year but victory over London Broncos would change that, believes head coach Craig Lingard.

CRAIG LINGARD: The Batley Bulldogs head coach is aiming for a fifth-straight league win tomorrow. Picture: Ed Sykes/
CRAIG LINGARD: The Batley Bulldogs head coach is aiming for a fifth-straight league win tomorrow. Picture: Ed Sykes/

The Bulldogs have won four of their five league games this campaign, only losing to promotion favourites Featherstone Rovers on the opening day, and are on their best winning streak since 2016.

The 2016 campaign was a significant one for Batley, as they finished third in the Championship table to earn a place in what was then the Middle 8s.

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Lingard’s side currently sit third in the ladder after five games, three places above full-time London, ahead of this afternoon’s contest at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.

INJURED: Batley Bulldogs half-back Tom Gilmore. Picture: Allan McKenzie/

Batley have already beaten Widnes Vikings and Sheffield Eagles this season but Lingard feels victory over London would be their most significant of the campaign so far.

“If we do win, we can’t hide from the fact people will be looking at us more than they are doing already,” said Lingard.

“If we go five out of six and beat a full-time team then people will start to take note of us.

“That will throw its own challenges up as people will want to knock us off our pedestal and get one over on us.

“I prefer that than people looking at us as an easy beat at the bottom of the table.”

The Bulldogs are the highest-scoring side in the division while defence has been an issue for London in the opening weeks of the campaign.

Batley will take on the Broncos tomorrow without half-back Tom Gilmore who has been one of their stand-out players this term.

He injured his calf in last weekend’s win over Sheffield in Doncaster but Lingard is not ready to allow his absence to be an excuse for his side.

He added: “Looking at the squad London have put in, they are pretty much full strength, whether they are all fit or not we don’t know.

“Tom Gilmore has been ruled out for us and that is the first time we will have played without him.

“That throws up another challenge but it is certainly a game we want to tick off because if we get the victory it is five on the bounce.

“In every game we have played this year we haven’t looked to use excuses.

“Just because one player is out doesn’t mean we can use it as an excuse to get beat, we are not of that mindset.”

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