Halifax Panthers suffered their biggest defeat of the season, failing to trouble the scorers in a 42-0 drubbing at the hands of Batley Bulldogs at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium. The Panthers would kick off playing down the hill in the first half but were unable to press home an advantage down the famous slope of Mount Pleasant. 
Simon Grix’s side got off to the worst possible start, conceding a penalty inside the first set of the game as Kevin Larroyer was pulled for a shoulder charge. Leeds loanee Luke Hooley choosing to go for goal for an early 2-0 lead after just two minutes of play. It was a lead they never looked like relinquishing as the Bulldogs forwards rolled up the hill, asserting their dominance on a Panthers pack lacking in confidence. And when Joffret’s pass looking for Tibbs was intercepted by Hodson, the hosts took advantage to stay ahead in the territory battle, pinning the visitors in their own half. 
Unforced errors and penalties meant Fax struggled to get into any sort of groove in attack and defence despite not lack of effort. And after Kyle Wood went close from an incisive run, Batley again intercepted a loose pass through Campbell to race away up field. And this time, they would punish the men in blue and white after setting up the field position. Kieran Buchanan was held up just short before Luke Hooley crashed over on the right for the first try of his hattrick on the day. The Leeds man would convert his own score to put the Bulldogs up 8-0. 
More penalties against the visitors followed, stifling any hint of a breakthrough to gain a foothold in the game. And when Tibbs spilled a bad pass from Crooks to gift Batley the ball 20 metres from the line, it was only a matter of time before the dam would burst. The pressure eventually told, ex Fax man Dane Manning taking a crash ball at the line straight from the ruck to power his way over and send the hosts into the sheds 12-0 up. 
The opening set of the second half was an important one for both sides as it would set the tone for the rest of the contest. And when Matty Gee put down a low pass from Jouffret coming out of yardage, the writing was on the wall. And when Fax were caught offside from the subsequent scrum, Hooley to the take to edge the lead to 14 with the boot. 
The Panthers would then have their best chance of the game to post points. Nice work from James Woodburn-Hall put Ben Crooks into a gap, he tipped it on to Saltonstall on the edge but the Fax winger lost control as he stretched out for the line. The story of our afternoon played out in front of a healthy travelling support that was quickly losing hope. 
Josh Woods’ 40/20 would then swing the game back into Batleys favour, setting up field position for Dane Manning to collect a last tackle crossfield kick to go over for his second of the day against his former club. Hooley converting to rub further salt into the wounds to move the lead to 20-0. And when the Leeds loanee dummied his way over for his second on 62 minutes, the game was over as a contest without a doubt. 
Further converted scores from George Senior and Josh Hodson moved the scoreboard to 36-0 with ten minutes to go. And when Hooley crashed over for his hattrick try to further twist the knife in the Panthers hearts, the hooter couldn’t come soon enough. 
Fax clinging onto a play off spot by a single point but a deflating defeat in the Betfred Championship for the men from The Shay. Final score Batley Bulldogs 42 – 0 Halifax Panthers
Batley Bulldogs
Hooley, Morton, Hodson, Senior, Campbell, Meadows, Woods, Brown, White, Kibula, Manning, Buchanan, Reilly
Subs: Gledhill, Ward, Flynn, Leak
Tries: Hooley (15,62,74), Manning (37,53), Senior (68), Hodson (70)
Goals: Hooley 5/7
Penalties: Hooley 2/2
Halifax Panthers
Woodburn-Hall, Walmsley, Crooks, Tibbs, Saltonstall, Jouffret, Wood, Calcott, Moore, Larroyer, Kavanagh, Gee, Fairbank
Subs: O’Brien, Tangata, Fleming, McComb
Tries: N/A
Goals: N/A

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