Betfred Championship R18: Sheffield vs Batley Preview
If you could get two clubs to talk about the unpredictable nature of the Betfred Championship, Sheffield Eagles and Batley Bulldogs would have some stories to tell.
That’s just from the last couple of weeks.
The Eagles welcome Batley to the OLP on Friday night after being left shellshocked against London Broncos last weekend. A 0-28 half-time lead at the Kuflink Stadium was turned on its head, the Broncos scoring six converted tries without reply in the second period to boost their survival hopes.
Batley, despite not losing against Whitehaven last weekend, will have been disappointed not to have backed up their monumental victory over the big-spending Featherstone Rovers a week earlier.
What to expect on Friday night?
After the last fortnight, who knows?
Key Battle - Tom Holmes | James Meadows
Probably not the main men in both sides’ playmaking ranks but the efforts of Tom Holmes and James Meadows could go a long way to deciding who comes out on top on Friday.
Holmes enjoyed a successful loan spell with the Eagles from Featherstone earlier in the season before signing a permanent deal until the end of 2022.
Having played in the halves and at hooker during his time in Red and Gold, Holmes will be aiming to fill the void left by Izaac Farrell who sustained an injury against the Broncos last weekend.
Meadows is an ex-Eagle, having spent time in South Yorkshire on dual-registration from London Broncos in 2019.
A defender’s nightmare when he puts on the burners, Meadows has had success on the OLP surface and he could be pivotal to Batley’s chances.
Tickets are available online and on the gate as the OLP now has a capacity of 1,300.
It is cheaper to buy online as prices do go up on the day.
More info on tickets can be found here.
By Dan Fowler, graphic by Alex Coleman