Rivals hope derby will beat big freeze

DEWSBURY RAMS and Batley Bulldogs officials are hoping its not a white Christmas ahead of their big preseason Boxing Day clash at the Tetleys Stadium.

With the fixture still in the balance a pitch inspection is due to take place at lunchtime today (Thursday December 24) and if the field is deemed unplayable even two days before the game then it will be rescheduled for 2.15pm on Bank Holiday Monday, December 28.

A big crowd is expected for the fixture, whenever it is played, and Dewsbury chairman Mark Sawyer said: It is important that supporters of Batley and Dewsbury come on Boxing Day as it provides both clubs with essential income.

It would be nice to think we would have a gate of more than 3,000.

Rams boss Warren Jowitt is set to use 22 men in the game but Dewsbury will be without longterm injured players Austin Buchanan (knee), Ayden Faal (hernia) and Tom Wandless (hernia) while Keegan Hirst (shoulder) is still doubtful.

Boxing Day is a big derby and Dewsbury and Batley love to have a go at each other to win the bragging rights, said Jowitt.

Karl Harrison has recruited well and itll be a tough game, but obviously my season isnt based around Boxing Day.

If we win well enjoy it, if we dont we dont. The season is more important to me than Boxing Day.

Batley are set to leave out Eddie Kilroy (hand) and Huddersfield Giants loan trio Josh Griffin, Kyle Wood and Alex Brown, who are still contracted and training with the Super League side until the season starts in earnest.

Kickoff on Boxing Day is at 12.15pm, with gates open from 11am.

Standing admission prices are £13, £7 and £2 for adults, concessions and under16s respectively, and seated admission is £14 for adults or £9 for concessions and under16s.

Executive packages, priced £40 plus VAT, include watching the game in an executive box, complimentary drinks, halftime tea and coffee, a postmatch meal in the sponsors lounge with a chance to meet the players and a Rams Christmas pack. To book email dewsburyrams@tiscali.co.uk or call the club on 01924 465489.

Anyone wishing to check the status of the game after the pitch inspection should log on to

www.dewsburyrams.co.uk

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