Easter Monday means rugby league, if fixtures fall right, and this year they most certainly did!  Batley Bulldogs travelled to play London Broncos.

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Batley have a long and rich history, coming into being in the 1880’s;  they were one of the original 20 clubs to break away at the famous meeting in the George Hotel in Huddersfield.

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They play their games in the newly named Fox’s Biscuits Stadium nestled between Huddersfield and Leeds in West Yorkshire.  So, a reasonable journey for the team and their die hard fans.

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My journey was a little different than usual, I had to get myself home from Paris before I could make my way to The Hive.  I’d booked the Eurostar for 9:10am to make sure I got home in plenty of time.

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I left my daughter at about 8am French time and arrived at my door just over 4 hours later.  My Eurostar journey was a delight having decided to travel in Standard Premier I was served a pretty decent croissant stylie breakfast.  I even ate the fruit and yoghurt too!

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A quick charge of my camera battery and IPad and off I went to – I’m not too sure where!  Edgware maybe?

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In spite of it being Easter Monday the trip was smooth – apart from a van driver who tried to wipe the front of my car out – he actually apologised as I was calling him a name as I drove past – a tad embarrassing.

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The M25 had it’s standard, there must be glass in the 2 inside lanes drivers, but the roads were surprisingly quiet.

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I arrived a good hour before the match was due to start and joined my friend Richard watching Barnet play Dartford at that round ball game.  A key game for both teams Barnet were, after many nervous moments winners with a solitary goal.

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I may have said in a previous Broncos blog, but the food on offer at The Hive can be reasonably healthy as well as comprising of the usual beef burgers and chips option.  I had half a baguette (oh and crisps) it makes a pleasant change to be able to have non fried food!

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I’d been a bit shocked to hear that Mark and Kate Rammond staunch Broncos fans had been in a bad car accident on their way to watch the team play Featherstone Rovers.  A win from the home team would cheer them both up no end!

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As per usual I am going to write a match report for In The Loose so not too much detail about the game – but, here’s a taster.

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Broncos had been faring well at home, having had 3 from 3 – away form had been somewhat different with a win against Featherstone being their 1st away win this season.  (They had no away wins in 2014!)

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Batley had a mixed start to the 2015 season with 7 played, 3 won and 4 lost.  Both teams had points to prove.

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As has always been the case Batley looked pretty huge in comparison to Broncos particularly in the Forwards.

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What I’m about to type next is going to look a little odd – the 1st half was a pretty even affair – yet Broncos took their chances and went in at half time having scored 3 tries.  With Matt Garside, Daniel Harrison and Ben Helliwell each scoring a 4 pointer.  Wes Naiqama converted 2 of them, Oscar Thomas the other.

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Batley scored through Sean Hesketh after concerted pressure, Cain Southerwood added the extras.

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Next up was Elliot Minchella for Broncos, scoring a great try on his debut, Wes Naqaima added the score to London Broncos 18 Batley Bulldogs 6.

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Batley were in determined mode and had a lot of possession of the ball – that pressure led to tries on both the 71st and 75th minute with Wayne Rettie scoring a typical wingers try – converted by Southerwood with a great kick.

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Sean Hesketh scored Batley’s 3rd try of the half, Southerwood was again successful with the conversion.  Taking the score to London Broncos 24 Batley Bulldogs 18.

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A drop goal scored by Oscar Thomas gave Broncos a 2 score gap that Batley couldn’t, despite a lot of effort close.  Another home win for London to the delight of the home fans- final score – Broncos 25 Bulldogs 18.

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I throughly enjoyed the game – I’ve decided I shout a whole lot more at rugby league than I do union, in the case of this game, the referee made a few dodgy decisions that may have ‘made’ me yell even more!

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In spite of being amongst the beer etc I didn’t find out the prices – I bought a cuppa which I believe was £2.00 and a pint of beer – with the total being £5 something – so I’m thinking the beer was reasonable!

Lots more about the game in my upcoming match report.

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