Batley 23-10 Bradford: Player ratings and major talking points

In a superb play-off encounter, Batley and Bradford battled it out for a place in next weekend’s Championship semi-finals. A superb first half from the Bulldogs ultimately did the damage thanks to the outstanding Tom Gilmore but the Bulls made Batley sweat in the second half with a pair of tries. But ultimately the Bulldogs sealed the win late on.

Major Talking Points:

1. Halfbacks steal the show

Going into the game, most of the talk centred around the halves. With former Man of Steel Danny Brough and one-time Rhinos Jordan Lilley, Bradford had the more well known halves. The pair kicked well all game and when they were under the pump and 16-0 down, they dragged the Bulls back to life as they combined to create the space out wide to get Bradford on the scoresheet before directly linking together for the Bulls’ second. But we cannot overlooked Ben White and the brilliant Tom Gilmore for Batley. The pair linked together with great effect. Gilmore nailed a vital 40/20 early on and poached a key try as well. Overall, all four impressed in a wonderful game of play-off rugby but Gilmore was the difference in the end.

2. Championship rugby as competitive as ever

Both Bradford and Batley can hold their heads up high today. With the rugby league world watching on Sky Sports, both sides came up with some top notch rugby. After a physical first 25 minutes, Batley began to play some more expansive rugby and that mantle was taken on by the Bulls in the second half. A captivating and close contest, Batley were deserving winners but both sides made the Championship proud this afternoon.

3. Hall the ironic hero

Elliot Hall won’t have to buy himself a pint anytime soon in Batley because I’m sure the Bulldogs fans will be queuing up to thank him for his clinching try today. It was an electric effort from the super sub and was well taken in the corner. But the ironic thing? He works for the Bulls in his day job and yet he’s the man who dumps the Bulls out of the competition.

Player Ratings:

Batley
1 Luke Hooley – 8
5 Jonny Campbell – 7
22 Dale Morton – 7
3 Kieran Buchanan – 6
29 Greg Johnson – 7
6 Ben White – 7
7 Tom Gilmore – 9
13 James Brown – 6
24 Ben Kaye – 8
15 Jack Blagbrough – 7
12 Lucas Walshaw – 7
11 Dane Manning – 7
26 Nyle Flynn – 7
Substitutes
9 Alistair Leak – 7
14 Elliot Hall – 8
19 Tom Lillycrop – 8
16 Michael Ward – 7
Bradford
53 Elliot Kear – 8
2 Joe Brown – 8
3 Rhys Evans – 7
4 Ross Oakes – 7
5 David Foggin-Johnston – 7
6 Danny Brough – 7
7 Jordan Lilley – 7
24 Ben Evans – 7
9 Thomas Doyle – 7
10 Steven Crossley – 8
11 Adam Rooks – 7
12 Aaron Murphy – 7
13 Sam Hallas – 7
Substitutes
14 George Flanagan – 8
15 Dan Fleming – 6
18 Ebon Scurr – 6
23 Anthony Walker – 8

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