A YOUNG Wakefield Wildcats squad went down to an 18-14 defeat against Batley Bulldogs on Sunday in their final trial game of the close season.
John Kear’s determined side gave Richard Agar’s mixed squad a tough time at Mount Pleasant but Agar will be pleased to see senior players come through unscathed ahead of Friday’s Super League XVII kick-off at Widnes.
Oliver Wilkes returned to action after recovering from an operation to have his appendix removed and Frankie Mariano also got through the 80 minutes following a toe injury.
Senior players Andy Ellis, Kyle Amor, Kyle Wood and Motu Tony also got valuable time on the pitch.
Matty Wildie was forced off early after receiving a blow to the head early in the second half while Kyle Trout also suffered a shoulder injury.
Things started well for Batley, playing down their famous Mount Pleasant slope, when former Wildcat Tom Henderson provided the kick for Gareth Frodsham to score the opening try three minutes in. Lewis Palfrey added the conversion.
It was a largely uneventful first 40 minutes but Wildcats responded before the break when Sam Fletcher crossed in the corner and Dale Morton added a fine touchline kick to see the scores level.
Wildcats had the advantage of the slope in the second half and they made it count as Lucas Walshaw was sent over by Matty Wildie shortly after the resumption. Wildie was forced to sit out the rest of the match after suffering a blow to the head when delivering the pass.
Wakefield then opened up an eight-point gap when Danny Cowling took advantage of a defensive lapse in concentration by Batley’s Danny Mills to touchdown in the corner.
Bulldogs finished the stronger though as tries from Alex Bretherton and Jason Walton, both converted by former Wakefield player Gareth Moore, gave the hosts victory.
Bulldogs: Palfrey, Potts, Walton, Maun, Mills, Black, Henderson, Applegarth, Mennell, Frodsham, Bretherton, Scott, Lindsay. Replacements: Campbell, Darren Williams, Daley Williams, Moore, Smith, Toohey, Potter, Walker, Lyhte.
Wildcats: Tony, Morton, Cowling, Walshaw, Fletcher, Wildie, Wood, Wilkes, Ellis, Amor, Mariano, Slater, Trout. Replacements: Davey, Kay, Spiers, Lillycrop, Raleigh, Ansell, Gledhill.
Referee: Mr T Roby.
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