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Eagles go down to battling Bulldogs

08/05/2021

Sheffield Eagles were dealt a further blow in the Championship on Friday night, losing out 18-30 to Batley Bulldogs at the Keepmoat Stadium.

After a draw against London Broncos, Mark Aston made just one change to the Eagles squad, as Jordan Bull replaced Paddy Burns on the Sheffield interchange bench.

The Eagles let an 18-10 lead slip, as Batley scored four second-half tries in 17 minutes, to record a second loss of the season.

The visitors were the first to score on the night and had a narrow lead at the break thanks to tries from Luke Hooley and Tom Gilmour.

The hosts struggled to cope with early pressure from Batley and went behind when Hooley was on hand to touch-down from a Kieran Buchanan offload, Gilmour missed his first effort from the tee.

The Eagles made a good response and led for a short few moments after Rob Worrincy received a Greg Burns’ pass before he burrowed over from close range to score his 199th career try.
Izaac Farrell notched the extra two to give Sheffield the lead.

Batley regained their lead three minutes after Worrincy’s score, half-back Tom Gilmour raced away to score following a loose pass to ground from Anthony Thackeray.

Gilmour converted his own score to give Batley a four-point half-time lead.

Before the first forty was up, Sheffield came close to regaining the lead after good work from James Glover, who put Ryan Millar away down the Eagles’ left edge but the usual ever-reliable support play from Thackeray only resulted in a knock-on.

HALF TIME: SHEFFIELD EAGLES 6-10 BATLEY BULLDOGS

Two minutes after the half-time break Worrincy converted score made it two for the night and a career 200 tries for the 35-year-old.

The Eagles worked the ball right through Farrell, Brown and finally Thackeray whose long pass was collected by Worrincy before he shimmed past the Bulldogs defence to slide over in the corner.

Sheffield’s lead was extended before the hour mark when Jordan Bull scored on his Eagles debut.

The former Eagles scholar and Castleford Tigers youth prospect touched down a cute grubber kick from Izaac Farrell, whose conversion made it 18-10 to the hosts.

Batley hit back on 62 minutes through Hooley’s second of the evening, the full-back was in support of a Gilmour line-break and slid over to cut the Sheffield advantage, Gilmour, this time was successful from the boot.

Craig Lingard’s side made good use of the change of momentum and hit the front when Dane Manning crashed over to score.

Johnny Campbell added a score in the corner before Elliot Hall finished off a slick Bulldogs move in the 80th minute to confirm victory for the high-flying Batley side.

FULL-TIME: SHEFFIELD EAGLES 18-30 BATLEY BULLDOGS

Sheffield travel to The Shay next Sunday afternoon (12:45 pm KO) to take on Halifax, with the aim of recording a first victory in four games.

By Lewis Coleman, photo by Alex Coleman