Batley Bulldogs 24 Sheffield Eagles 54: Slump ended in emphatic fashion
Sheffield Eagles ended their recent slump after a convincing 54-24 victory over Batley Bulldogs at Mount Pleasant.
With just six points between the sides at the break, half-back James Meadows put in an inspired stint to guide the Eagles to victory – ending their three game losing run in the league.
The victory was just the tonic coach Mark Aston was looking for, and with basement club Rochdale next on the horizon, the result gives the Eagles’ top five hopes a welcome shot in the arm.
The pre-game monsoon did little to dampen the start for the visitors, who were quickly into their stride kicking up the hill.
They were in front when Anthony Thackeray’s kick on the last was expertly taken by Brad Knowles, before the ex-Featherstone ace touched down under the sticks. Pat Walker converted.
The Eagles kept up the pressure and after a couple of near misses it was Thackeray again pulling the strings this time opting for a flat pass on the last to allow Jason Crookes a try against his former club. Walker converted.
More good work was to follow as Ryan Millar intercepted and kicked up-field where his chase retained possession. Breaks by Ben Blackmore and Jacob Ogden laid further foundations, which were concluded with Pat Moran crashing over for a converted try.
The one-way traffic was eventually halted when converted tries from Paul Brealey and Keenen Tomlinson had the Bulldogs back within a converted try.
But the Eagles re-established their hold on the game after the interval when Meadows scythed his way through a gaping gap in the Batley line, and with ex-Bulldog Walker on his right shoulder he handed over for a converted try in front of the sticks.
It was Meadows again soon after causing problems, sprinting through another hole in the line before offloading to Aaron Brown in tackle who touched down in front of the posts. Walker added the extras.
The Meadows show continued when his grubber on the last caused chaos, eventually it fell kindly to Blake Broadbent who touched down, with Walker converting.
James Brown’s converted try gave the hosts a consolation, but converted scores from Oliver Davies, Knowles and Moran took the Eagles past 50 points, with Sam Wood’s late try proving to be a minor blip on a good day for the Eagles.
Batley: Scott; Tomlinson, Smeaton, Wood, Campbell; Jouffret, Brambani; Gledhill, Leak, Everett; Downs, Manning; Brearley. Interchange: Ward, Brown, Butterworth, Bienek.
Scorers: Tries: Brealey (27), Tomlinson (34), Brown (63), Wood (77) Goals: Jouffret 4/4
Eagles: Guzdek; Millar, Ogden, Crookes, Blackmore; Walker, Thackeray; Moran, Davey, Knowles; Hellewell, Farrell; Brown. Interchange: Meadows, Davies, Broadbent, P. Burns.
Scorers: Tries: Knowles (5, 72), Crookes (15), Moran (19, 74), Walker (44), Brown (50), Broadbent (55), Davies (69). Goals: Walker 9/9
Referee: Jack Smith