Rugby League: Wakefield made to work for win

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The Independent Online
A WAKEFIELD side completely rebuilt for Super League played like the strangers they are for most of this Silk Cup Challenge Cup fourth- round tie before finally overcoming the determined efforts of Batley, writes Dave Hadfield.

The club from last year's Second Division, they won the first ever Challenge Cup 102 years ago, showed tremendous spirit and bravery last night until they succumbed in the second half, but there was nothing in this game to change the opinion of the Trinity coach, Andy Kelly, that there is a huge amount of work to be done on his team.

Batley gave as good as they got in the first half, if not a little better, in holding the game scoreless. They had the better chances, in fact, with Chris McWilliams being stopped on the line and John Clarke breaking down the right only for his support to arrive fractionally too late.

They lasted six minutes into the second half before self-destructing. First Graham Middleton threw a pass to the opposition, then Batley conceded a penalty for offside. From the tap, Lynton Stott found an uncharacteristic gap and his soft try and Willie Poching's goal finally got Trinity moving.

Richard Price should have quickly reduced the deficit, when Wakefield were penalised for shepherding, but he missed an easy kick. Price did oblige after 22 minutes into the second half when Kevin Crouthers was punished for not playing the ball properly.

That was as close as Batley could get. With 12 minutes to play Shane Kenward made the break and Crouthers got his pass away for Neil Law to score in the corner.

Law also added a late penalty, but this had been anything but a comfortable passage to the next round for the home side.

Wakefield Trinity: Hodgson; Stott, Brunker, Crouthers, N Law; Kenward, Tomlinson; Stephenson, Talbot, F Watene, G Price, Fisher, Poching. Substitutes used: Southernwood, McDonald, S Watene, G Law.

Batley: Dyson, Flynn, Walker, Simpson, Gleadhill, R Price, Jackson, Lord, Clarke, McWilliam, Middleton, Miers, Patterson. Substitutes used: Lingard, Cass, Bradbrook, Harrison.

Referee: G Shaw (Wigan).

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