Rampant Batley end Swinton's journey

Swinton 6 Batley 58
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Swinton claimed an unwanted piece of rugby league history last night when they became the first club to be knocked out of the Challenge Cup twice in one season.

The Lions were eliminated by Halifax almost five weeks ago, only to be reinstated when their opponents were found to have fielded an ineligible player, who had already appeared in the competition for another club.

That gave Swinton a second chance against Halifax's prospective fifth-round opposition, with a home quarter-final against Catalan Dragons of Super League the dubious reward for the winner. Unfortunately, it was a second chance they never looked like taking.

Batley have had an interesting Cup campaign themselves. Apart from having their tie postponed at short notice, they had the novel experience of one of their own players coaching against them when they played Lee Greenwood's Siddal in the previous round.

Greenwood, now free of his amateur club commitments, was the last of Batley's six tryscorers in the first half. The only crumb of comfort for an overpowered Swinton was that they had been first on the scoreboard, when Phil Joseph went over from Ian Watson's pass.

That only provoked Batley into rapidly shaking off any lethargy from their recent heavy workload. They were soon ahead, through tries from Danny Maun and Gareth Moore, and further scores followed at regular intervals from James Martin, Johnny Campbell, John Gallagher and finally Greenwood.

Even playing well within themselves, Karl Harrison's side were proving far too good for the team from a division below them.

Swinton deserved some credit for tightening up defensively after the break. After Craig Potter had gone over, they held Batley scoreless for 25 minutes until Dave Tootill crashed in.

Sean Hesketh became the ninth different tryscorer, before Greenwood was the first to double his tally, closely followed by Campbell. By then, Batley had a visit from the Catalans to look forward to, the Rugby League having vetoed their idea of playing it in France.

They could face Brent Sherwin, who signed from Castleford yesterday and who, it is only right to point out, has not played for Cas in the Cup this season.

Swinton Hawkyard; Hamilton, Grundy, Stewart, D Hull; Holroyd, Govin; Newton, Watson, Johnson, Wingfield, Isherwood, Joseph. Substitutes used Foxen, Smith, C.Hull, Rigby.

Batley Campbell; Barlow, Toohey, Maun, Greenwood; Handforth, Moore; Smith, Lythe, Hesketh, Walton, J Gallagher, T Gallagher. Substitutes used Buttery, Potter, Martin, Tootill.

Referee G.Hewer (Whitehaven).

Comments