Rugby League: Batley 12 Dons 26

Stewart Sanderson
Stewart Sanderson

Winger Stewart Sanderson was faultless once more as his try and sublime kicking led Doncaster on their way to a 26-12 victory over Batley Bulldogs.

With very little action in the opening exchanges at Batley’s Mount Pleasant ground, the match was marred slightly when the Bulldogs’ Alex Rowe and Chris Spurr were caught up in a fist fight after the Dons man kicked out at Batley’s prop. The referee gave the pair a talking to as the game continued.

It was the visitors who opened the scoring, Mark Castle driving powerfully over the line in the 18th minute. Sanderson’s kick made it 6-0 to the visitors.

Danny Cowling then increased Doncaster’s lead as he squeezed over in the corner. Sanderson’s kicking was once again flawless.

Batley burst into life when Gareth Potts showed Doncaster a clean pair of heels as he rode a number of tackles before being stopped at the line. However, Miles Greenwood was well-timed in support and crashed over for four points. Gareth Moore had the simple task of firing between the posts for 12-6.

A 33rd minute penalty from Sanderson for 14-6 was then followed up just before half-time by Matty Dawson who intelligently drew in the tackles and his off-load was collected by the impressive Sanderson who drove over. The winger’s successful conversion was the final kick of the half to take Doncaster to 20-6 lead.

Sixteen minutes after the restart, a good spell of pressure from the Bullodgs found Rowe with the ball who showed power and pace to storm over.

Tom Hemingway’s kick reduced the deficit to 20-12 for the first scores after the restart, giving Batley a much-needed boost.

Liam Kay showed shades of his try against Hunslet last week as he sprinted through and dove over in emphatic fashion to cap off a fast-flowing Dons. Sanderson converted a simple two points for 26-12.

Alex Bretherton then thought he had put Batley back into it after capitalising on a Den Tuffour spill, however, the referee had called back the play.

Doncaster held on to upset the odds and claim a strong 26-12 victory on their travels.