Batley Bulldogs v Sheffield Eagles
Sunday 16th June 2019, 15:00pm
Championship - Round: 17
Stats over last 8 encounters
Sheffield Eagles got back to winning ways in emphatic style as they beat Batley Bulldogs 54-24 at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.
It was a game for the Eagles forwards as six of the nine tries scored by the visitors were from the big men.
Front-row duo Pat Moran and Brad Knowles both notched braces while dual-registered London Broncos half-back James Meadows was in sublime form with a number of assists and line breaks.
Meadows made an impact on his debut for the Eagles last month against Leigh Centurions and he certainly showed his quality once again.
Playing up the infamous Mount Pleasant slope in the first half, it didn’t take long for Sheffield to break the deadlock.
Five minutes, in fact, as Knowles grabbed hold of an Anthony Thackeray kick before planting down. Patch Walker kicked his first of nine conversions.
Two tries in the space of four minutes threatened to end the game as a contest, despite it still being the opening quarter.
Jason Crookes powered over from a flat Thackeray pass before Moran found himself on the end of an inside ball and he finished the move well.
Walker was on target with the two conversions.
Batley responded well and gave Sheffield some thinking to do during the break.
Paul Brearley muscled over from close range as the Bulldogs got on the scoresheet after 26 minutes. Louis Jouffret added the extras, as he did following Keenen Tomlinson’s try which came via some quick Batley hands.
Many teams would have been happy with a six-point lead after attacking up the Batley hill in the second half but for Sheffield, who had been much the better side for most of the first period, they will have been smarting.
Mark Aston’s rallying call at the interval worked a treat.
Inside 14-minutes, the Eagles had scored three tries and put the game to bed.
Meadows started to come into his element as he attacked down the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium slope. He put on the burners for the first try of the half as he broke through and played Walker over, who converted.
Another Meadows break and a lovely flick offload found its way to Aaron Brown who joined the party on 51 minutes. Walker goaled.
Meadows’ third assist could well have been his first try but his grubber, having caused havoc in the Batley ranks, ricocheted into the in-goal and Blake Broadbent seemed to get the vital touch just before the half-back. Walker converted for 36-12.
In the final quarter, James Brown touched down for the Bulldogs as they refused to give up the fight. Jouffret converted.
Three more quick-fire scores for the Eagles brought up 50-points for the South Yorkshire club.
Thackeray fired a ball to Oliver Davies who had too much strength for the Bulldogs defence.
A Meadows grubber sat up nicely for Knowles to get his second try of the day, closely followed by Moran who supported a neat break from James Davey on his 200th career appearance.
Walker converted all three tries but the final points of the day went to the hosts as Sam Wood burst through the defence from a scrum play. Jouffret goaled.
By Dan Fowler