Pete’s Preview: Batley Bulldogs
By Peter Carbert
Those of us who’ve read Andy Atkinson’s excellent ‘Knights and Days’ will know he’s partial to a biscuit (my own fave is obviously a Kit Kat, thanks for asking!), and on Sunday we welcome Batley Bulldogs to Bootham Crescent, a club who are of course synonymous with biscuits.
The Bulldogs unwrapped things with a 22-18 home defeat to Barrow, followed by 2 defeats – 42-14 at Featherstone and 20-18 at Halifax. They finally got off the mark, beating Rochdale 18-12 before being crunched 44-16 at Sheffield. A close defeat at home to rivals Bradford followed (16-6), then a commendable defeat to a Toronto (34-12) and another loss, this time at the hands of Toulouse (38-12). A big cup win over Castleford Lock Lane (before their cup run was ended by Doncaster) was followed by a magnificent 20-18 win over Widnes, and Batley were on a roll, or should we say a downward slope! They made light work of neighbours Dewsbury in the Heavy Woollen Derby (20-8), beat Swinton 32-18 then last time out lost 36-16 at home to Leigh.
Will Batley pick up another crucial win at Bootham Crescent? Or will their efforts crumble in the face of the Knights Resilience? Grab a seat, a cuppa and a biscuit and enjoy today’s game!
Ones to Watch: Dominic Brambani seems to have been around forever and still has the skills to turn a match around. Frenchman Louis Jouffret has bagged himself 7 tries in 11 games this season and is one the Knights will have to watch as well.
Pete Predicts: Knights avenge their Yorkshire Cup defeat with a 10 point victory!
York City Knights Milestones:
Kris Brinning makes his 100th appearance for York if selected today.
Connor Robinson is closing in on 300 goals for York – currently on 282.
York City Knights: Rochdale Hornets (a) 12th May
13th January 2019
Batley Bulldogs 22 York City Knights 18
Mount Pleasant – Attendance 786
While not strictly a competitive fixture (though any rugby league match, even if a friendly, is always competitive), this was a real humdinger of a game.
York played down the slope in the first half, and scored some fantastic tries through Will Jubb, Graeme Horne and Matty Marsh to open up an 18-0 lead. There was some real good support play in show against an established Batley team, but you always got the impression the try Batley scored on halftime would be crucial.
The Bulldogs came out barking for the 2nd half, and after scoring 2 tries were just 18-16 down. This became a real nip and tuck game, players from both sides putting their bodies on the line – again try telling them it was just a friendly, but ultimately Batley showed a little more experience as York’s Reece Rushworth was sin binned 5 minutes from the end, and Mount Pleasant erupted as they scored 3 minutes from time. York’s considerable travelling support applauded the players for a very good effort, something which has set the tone for the Championship season.
Attentions now turn to the visit of Batley Bulldogs to Bootham this Sunday (May 5th) in a huge game in the Betfred Championship, with the Knights looking to continue their play-off push as we approach the half way point in this thrilling season. Get your tickets online now from Eventbrite HERE!