Sheffield Eagles’ slim Betfred Championship play-off hopes all but over after Batley Bulldogs thrashing

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Sheffield Eagles’ slim Betfred Championship play-off hopes are all but over after they were thumped 56-12 by Batley Bulldogs.

Mark Aston’s side, which is still some way off full strength following coronavirus cases and injuries in recent weeks, shipped 10 tries in West Yorkshire with just two scores of their own in reply.

James Davey’s converted effort was all the visitors could muster in the first half as Batley ran in four tries to give themselves a healthy 14-point lead at the break.

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Things went from bad to worse in the second period as the Bulldogs added a further six scores to Sheffield’s one, which came courtesy of second row Olly Davies.

Sheffield Eagles.Sheffield Eagles.
Sheffield Eagles.

The result leaves the Eagles six points of sixth place – the final play-off spot – with four games to go, including one against Featherstone.

The club’s win percentage – which will be used to determine league positions in this Covid-interrupted season - of 40.63 is also substantially lower than that of the teams currently occupying the top six places, meaning any play-off hopes would also be contingent on their rivals’ form collapsing in the final few weeks.

Frankie Mariano, Bobby Tyson-Wilson and Blake Broadbent returned for the Eagles on Sunday but vice-captain Anthony Thackeray missed out again due to an elbow injury along with Tyler Dickinson, who suffered a suspected concussion against Oldham.

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Sheffield will be back on the road next Sunday when they travel to the capital to take on London Broncos (3pm kick-off) before two home fixtures – against Dewsbury and basement boys Swinton – at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium.

They will conclude the season away to Featherstone Rovers.