REPORT | Dons 34-36 Batley Bulldogs

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28th January 2018

Doncaster RLFC 34-36 Batley Bulldogs

Sunday 28th January 2018

Club Doncaster Sports Village

Pre-season friendly

A late Dons fight-back proved to be in vain as they were defeated by Betfred Championship side Batley Bulldogs at the Club Doncaster Sports Village.

Shaun Ainscough gave the Bulldogs the lead after just three minutes, latching on to a ricochet on a through ball to touch down on the left flank. 

The Dons hit back after a quarter of an hour, full-back Richard Owen played a great cutout pass over the top to Aaron Jones-Bishop who had enough space on the wing to level the scores.

Richard Horne's side then went in front on 26 minutes, some great work by hooker Kieran Cross took him close to the line, before a flat pass found Ross Osborne and he powered over from close range. Jack Miller added the two from bang in-front. 10-4. 

It wasn't long though before Ainscough was in for his and Batley's second try, he got on the end of a smart offload from James Harrison and squeezed between two defenders to score. Patch Walker levelled things up at 10-10 with the successful conversion.

The Bulldogs then took control of the game in the final 10 minutes of the first half. Firstly through back-rower Dane Manning, who backed up a strong run through the Dons' defence by Jason Crookes to go over and put the visitors back in front.

Then it was Michael Ward's turn to get in on the action, he had too much power for the Dons' line and his score, along with Walker's conversion, put Batley 20-10 up at the break. 

HALF-TIME | Doncaster RLFC 10-20 Batley Bulldogs

The Dons reduced the deficit just three minutes after the interval, Connor Bower got on the end of a flowing move to force his way over down the right. Miller added the two from out wide. 16-20.

Batley though then went on to score three tries in 10 second half minutes to virtually wrap the game up, the first came from prop forward Adam Gledhill as he picked up a loose ball and had enough about him to go over close to the sticks. Farrell converted for 26-16.

Hooker Tom Hemmingway then got in on the act, darting over from dummy half and punishing some tiring bodies in the Dons defence. Farrell added the two once again. 32-16.

Former Halifax forward Manning then went over for his second, taking advantage of a repeat set for the Bulldogs and scoring their seventh try in total.

Charlie Martin halted the momentum slightly with a try 16 minutes from time, with the former Batley man creating space for himself on the left to go over. Liam Harris converted the two this time. 22-36.

The Dons were in again six minutes later, Hull FC back-rower Jack Downs showed a great turn of pace to sprint 40 metres to the try-line, evading a number of Batley defenders in the process. Harris again was successful with the conversion. 

What turned out to be the final scoring act of the game came from French full-back Hakim Miloudi. On for the second-half, Miloudi got on the end of a great break from Jones-Bishop to sprint home under the sticks. Harris converted but it proved to be too late as Batley ran out 36-34 winners in the final pre-season game of 2018. 

FULL-TIME | Doncaster RLFC 34-36 Batley Bulldogs

DONS XIII | Owen, Sanderson, Bower, Tali, Jones-Bishop, Miller, Harris, Boyle, Cross, Scott, Lane, Martin, Muranka. Interchange: Braham, Hedges, Welham, Downs, Miloudi, Osborne.

DONS TRIES | Jones-Bishop (14), Osborne (26), Bower (43), Martin (64), Downs (70), Miloudi (77) DONS GOALS | Miller (26, 43), Harris (64, 70 & 77)

BATLEY XIII | Scott, Reittie, Crookes, Galbraith, Ainscough, Walker, Brambani, Gledhill, Hemmingway, Holland, Manning, Harrison, Brown. Interchange: Farrell, Tomlinson, Ward, Leak, Rowe, Davey, Cowling, Chandler.

BATLEY TRIES | Ainscough (3 & 31), Manning (34 & 59), Ward (38), Gledhill (49), Hemmingway (57) BATLEY GOALS | Walker (31 & 38), Farrell (49 & 57) 

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