Batley Bulldogs 44 Sheffield Eagles 4 – Mark Aston’s side easily beaten as end of season slump continues

Ilies Macani scored Sheffield Eagles' only try of the game against Batley. Picture: Alex Coleman
Ilies Macani scored Sheffield Eagles' only try of the game against Batley. Picture: Alex Coleman

Sheffield Eagles slipped to their fourth defeat from five Super 8 fixtures after going down 44-4 against Batley Bulldogs at Mount Pleasant.  

The 2018 campaign is threatening to peter out for Mark Aston’s side, who were second best in this end of season dead-rubber, with Iliess Macani scoring the Eagles only points in what was a disappointing afternoon.

The Eagles started with purpose as the hosts were put under early pressure but Shaun Pick fluffed a chance when he spilled the ball under pressure going for the line.

The hosts then opened their account when ex-Eagle Dom Brambani showed great footwork to fool the Eagles’ defence before diving over the whitewash. Dave Scott converted.

The Eagles threatened with youngster Blake Broadbent’s purposeful break but his quick play of the ball wasn’t read by any of his teammates.

More pressure followed but Simon Brown’s end of set bomb was collected despite the close presence of Macani.

Broadbent went close again when he was expertly held up when diving for the line, before Batley took a firm grip on proceedings.

Another ex-Eagle Sam Smeaton crossed for a converted score after a break from Brad Day, and then Lewis Galbraith touched down after being fed by Brambani. Scott converted.

The Eagles again coughed up the ball just before the break with their last opportunity of the half as Jon Magrin failed to make the most of a promising opening.

Aston’s side made the early running in the second-half but decision making let them down when a sublime Ben Blackmore break pierced the Batley line, but he offloaded straight to Bulldog jersey.

Soon after Oscar Thomas’ grubber forced a drop-out, but again they failed to capitalise when Thomas’ pass to the right was intercepted by Johnny Campbell who ran 80 metres for a converted score.

The games was sealed when Day touched down on 55 minutes after Macani failed to grasp Brambani’s kick to the corner, then Campbell picked up his second try as the hosts eased clear.

The Eagles finally troubled the scorers when Menzie Yere’s deft offload saw Macani touch down in the corner, but Thomas sent the conversion wide.

Campbell completed his hat-trick on 72 minutes before James Brown capped off the scoring late on, with both tries converted by Scott.

Batley: Scott; Reittie, Smeaton, Galbraith, Campbell; Jouffret, Brambani; Gledhill, Davey, Harrison; Day, Manning; Rowe. Interchange: Walker, Tomlinson, Brown, Ward.

Scorers: Tries: Macani (68) Goals: Thomas 0/1

Eagles: Thomas; Macani, Yere, Toole, Blackmore; Brown, Aston; Pick, G. Burns, Magrin; James, Davies; Fozard. Interchange: P. Burns, Broadbent, Weldon, Garcia.

Scorers: Tries: Brambani (11), Smeaton (32), Galbraith (36), Campbell (50, 58, 72), Day (55), Brown (75) Goals: Scott 6/8

Attendance: 607

Referee: Marcus Griffiths