Crookes’s treble as Batley stun French
CHAMPIONSHIP: Batley Bulldogs produced their best performance of the season to inflict a crushing 46-22 defeat on full-time opponents Toulouse Olympique.
The Bulldogs fell behind to Bastien Ader’s try, which Mark Kheirallah converted for the French side.
But Batley hit back brilliantly as Dane Manning fed Lewis Galbraith and he drove for the line. The ball came loose and Jason Crookes scooped it up to score wide out.
Hooker Alistair Leak darted over from acting half-back and Izaac Farrell converted before Toulouse drew level with Ader’s second try.
Crookes got his second try and Izaac Farrell converted before Shaun Ainscough went over in the corner as Batley led 20-10 at half-time.
The Bulldogs added a fifth try six minutes after the re-start when Michael Ward collected Leak’s short pass and crashed between the posts, with Izaac Farrell again converting.
Toulouse’s Kheirallah reduced the arrears with a try, but Batley upped the tempo and produced some champagne rugby in the final quarter.
Brad Day crossed, Farrell converted and hammered over a penalty goal soon after to extend their lead.
William Barthau’s try narrowed the gap again, but Crookes completed his hat-trick and his kick set up day with Izaac Farrell converting both to take his match tally to seven goals.