Eagles face old boss Kear in Grand Final

John Kear celebrates at the golden point with Ashley Lindsay
John Kear celebrates at the golden point with Ashley Lindsay
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Sheffield Eagles will face former coach John Kear’s Batley Bulldogs in the Championship Grand Final.

The Bulldogs pulled off a shock extra-time ‘golden point’ 21-20 win at Featherstone Rovers in the play-offs qualifying semi-final yesterday.

It’s another remarkable achievement for Kear who famously lead the Eagles – including current boss Mark Aston – to their 1998 Challenge Cup Final win over Wigan.

“The Master – John Kear does it again,” said Aston. “He takes Batley to Featherstone and wins, John is a great motivator.

“It’ll be an exciting Grand Final we know that John gets his teams prepared well for big games.”

Eagles had been waiting to learn their opponents since booking their place in a third successive final with a 29-10 win at Halifax in the first play-off semi-final last Thursday night.

It’s Batley first Grand Final but the Eagles will be defending the Championship title they won last year when the teams meet at Leigh Sports Village next Sunday.

Batley beat Featherstone – who finished the league season in top place - with a drop goal from George Flanagan with four minutes of the first period of extra time left.

It followed a thrilling comeback by the Bulldogs from 12 points down to level the scores at the end of normal time.

It was the second play-off game the Bulldogs have won on a ‘golden point’ after edging out Leigh 15-14 in the last round.