The heavy woollen derby had decamped to Blackpool as the supporters and staff of the Dewsbury Rams and the Batley Bulldogs competed in the penultimate game of the summer bash.

The sides in ninth and tenth positions in the Betfred Championship are already some way adrift of the top eight and even further off a play-off place. Whoever took the two points from this encounter would grab  themselves a lifeline, whoever lost would probably realise that it was the end of their 2019 aspirations.

It was almost guaranteed to be a close, edgy, and full-blooded encounter.

As early as the second minute Batley’s Louis Jouffret was held up over the line by a determined Rams defence as Matt Diskin’s side looked to get an early advantage.

On five minutes Dominic Brambani and Jouffret combined to put Keenen Tomlinson over, leaping awkwardly in the corner to ground with his feet off the ground. Jouffret was unable to add the extras from wide.

On eleven it was 8-0 when Johnny Campbell went through a broken Rams defence from acting half-back. This time Jouffret hit the target with his kick and it was a perfect start for the Bulldogs.

Andrew Gabriel got the Rams back into the game with an acrobatic score by the left corner flag finding millimetres by the touchline to go over. Liam Finn pulled his kick wide of the uprights but Dewsbury were just six points adrift.

The defences muscled down for the rest of the half with neither side able to cross the whitewash.

Some early second half indiscipline from both sides resulted in attacks breaking down. Batley punished a Sam Day high tackle on forty-eight with a Jouffret thirty metre penalty goal to push the lead to eight points.

Just after the hour mark Paul Brearley scored Batley’s third try to take them further clear after taking a pass and first received and using pure strength to get to the line and stretch to score. Jouffret added the touchline conversion for 18-4, the game close to being won.

Dewsbury set about chasing the game but in playing some panic football they made errors and gifted possession back to Batley.

Six minutes from time Alistair Leak quashed any Rams hopes when  he took the ball from acting half-back, after a rampaging Michael Ward run, and scooted over backwards to reach down and ground. Jouffret added the conversion for 24-4.

It was all too easy when David Scott took a Brearley pass on the twenty metre line to run the diagonal and score under the sticks. Jouffret added his fifth goal.

A very late Michael Knowles consolation try, but another missed Finn conversion.

In the dying seconds Sam Day recovered his own chip over the top to score the third for the Rams and after the hooter Finn kicked his first goal of the day with the game ending with a 30-14 Bulldogs win.

This was a professional performance from Batley against a Dewsbury side who never got to fire on all cylinders and who were left disappointed and frustrated. Batley are now three league points clear of their neighbours but six points behind the pack above them. 

Bulldogs: Scott (T), Tomlinson (T), Smeaton, Wood, Campbell (T), Jouffret (5G), Brambani, Gledhill, Leak (T), Everett, Brearley (T), Manning, Brown. Subs: Butterworth, Ward, Tara, Bienek.

Rams: Hooley, Worrincy, Morton, Ryder, Gabriel (T), Brown S, Finn (G), Kibula, Mackay, Kilner, Walshaw, Knowles (T), Field.  Subs: Igbinedion, Day (T), Garratt, Andrade.

Referee: Matt Rossleigh.

Half-Time: 10-4.

Full-Time: 30-14.

Attendance: .


All views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the RLFANS.COM or its subsites.

Copyright 1999 - 2019 RLFANS.COM

You must be 18+ to gamble, for more information and for help with gambling issues see