Spears sent off as Rovers slump to shock defeat

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FEATHERSTONE Rovers crashed to their first defeat since last June when they lost 34-22 to Batley Bulldogs at Bigfellas Stadium this afternoon.

Rovers were outplayed in muddy conditions by the Bulldogs who recovered from 8-0 down in the early stages to record their fourth successive win in the Northern Rail Cup's group stages.

Greg Worthington, Tim Spears, Stuart Dickens, Matty Dale and Tangi Ropati were Featherstone's try scorers and Liam Finn kicked one goal.

Batley's Lewis Palfrey landed five goals from seven kicks to add to touchdowns from Chris Buttery (two), Craig Potter, Gareth Frodsham, Johnny Campbell and Daley Williams.

Featherstone's Tim Spears was sent off in the closing stages for fighting shortly after Sam Smeaton (Rovers) and Alex Bretherton (Batley) had been sin-binned following a flare-up.

Both Rovers and Batley have qualified for the competition's knock-out stages.

Featherstone Rovers: Carr; Saxton, Smeaton, Worthington, Ropati; Briggs, Finn; England, Kaye, Dickens, Dale, Spears, Hepworth. Subs: Kain, Mvududu, Maloney, Freer.

Batley Bulldogs: Preece; Campbell, Buttery, Williams, Mills; Palfrey, Henderson; Potter, Lythe, Menzies, Tooley, Scott, Applegarth. Subs: Mennell, Hirst, Bretherton, Frodsham.