Dewsbury Rams arrived at Mount Pleasant for their first game under new Head Coach Lee Greenwood.
The traditional Boxing Day match would also see a new look Rams side after many new signings over the close season.
Playing down the slope the first half Dewsbury faced a difficult first 10 minutes after having to use two interchanges due to head injuries. The first of these being to Jode Sheriffe, who clashed heads with Dale Morton in the lead up to the first Batley try. This created a gap for Dom Brambani to split the defence and feed Dave Scott who dived over. The second of these to Toby Richardson who had to leave the field for a head test, before returning shortly afterwards.
One of the replacements, Jordan Andrade, made powerful yards downfield and would continue to do so on a promising debut for the former Bradford Bulls man.
Batley certainly had the majority of the ball in dangerous areas throughout the first half and Brambani thought he was over for Batley’s second try, but was pulled back for crossing.
The relief on the Rams’ defence was short lived though, as Johnny Campbell made a fine break down the middle and set good field position 20 metres out from the line. Jouffret provided a cut-out pass on the left wing for Campbell to score in the corner.
Half Time – Batley Bulldogs 10 Dewsbury Rams 0
Dewsbury made a bright start to the second half and nearly went over through Robbie Ward. The pressure finally told though, as Paul Sykes fed Lucas Walshaw close to the line for him to score. Sykes could not convert.
Michael Ward then extended the Batley lead after good work from Dane Manning. Ward diving over next to the posts. Scott converted.
The Rams were still in the game though, and were the better side for much of the second half. Sam Day, who was lively all game, did well to stretch his arm out in the tackle and slam the ball down for the second Dewsbury try. Sykes knocked over the conversion.
Late drama nearly saw Dewsbury level the scores, as Adam Ryder stole the ball from Batley full-back Dave Scott and then dived towards the line with Sam Smeaton desperately trying to stop the score. The referee gave Batley a penalty as he deemed it a double movement, but Ryder was short of the line anyway.
Full Time Batley Bulldogs 16 Dewsbury Rams 10
Dewsbury – Morton, Gabriel, Leeming, Ryder, Brown, Sykes, Heckford, Sheriffe, Ward, Richardson, Walshaw, Knowles, Trout. Interchanges – Thomas, Andrade, Day, Garratt, King, Martin, Harrison.
Batley – Scott, Tomlinson, Smeaton, Wood, Campbell, Jouffret, Brambani, Gledhill, Leak, Everett, Downs, Manning, Brown. Interchanges – Brearley, Bretherton, Bruce, Dickinson, Ogden, Taira, Ward.