By Daniel Senior
Halifax recorded an impressive victory against one of the Championship’s high-flyers, the London Broncos, to record their third win of the 2017 season.
A packed MBi Shay Stadium observed a minute’s applause for Ronnie James, a member of the Halifax RLFC Hall of Fame who sadly passed away this week.
The game got underway and both sides began tentatively, playing out solid sets of six. It was Halifax, though, who would notch the first points of the afternoon.
The Broncos allowed Gareth Moore’s high kick to bounce not once, but twice, and Steve Tyrer was on hand to scoop up the bouncing ball.
The Fax centre dashed towards the corner and crossed under pressure from a couple of would-be Broncos defenders, giving the home side the lead with just 5 minutes on the clock.
The game continued in the same manner with both sets of players trading hard-hitting tackles in a battle down the middle, and very little action to shout about.
It would be the Broncos who would register a try of their own next up.
The dangerous Jarrod Sammut made his first contribution of the game, as his perfectly timed pass was gathered by Ben Hellewell who turned Will Sharp inside out to score, with Sammu converting.
Almost 20 minutes passed, the game now an extremely tight and tense affair with errors aplenty from both sides.
Half-time was within touching distance, but there was still time for another score, as Simon Grix crossed in the same corner that Tyrer had done earlier in the half.
The second row spotted a gap in the Broncos line and was more than happy to oblige
Tyrer was unable to convert from a difficult angle, meaning Halifax went in at halftime, in front by 8-6.
The game got back underway, with rain now drizzling after a fairly pleasant first half.
It followed the same pattern as the first, with both sides eager to register a couple of solid sets early on.
The penalties continued to accumulate against the Broncos, though, and Halifax were given the opportunity to take the two from right in front of the posts.
Tyrer registered his first successful kick of the afternoon to extend the Fax lead to 10-6.
From this point onwards, it was all Halifax, as the Broncos failed to put any pressure on the home side’s defence for the remainder of the game.
Fax continued to pile on the pressure, Gareth Moore doing well to intercept a Broncos pass bound for the wing, and the gamble to leave his man paying off.
The scrum-half marked his return to the team with a brilliant breakaway try from half-way, unchallenged by the London defence, much to the delight of the Fax faithful.
A simple kick straight in front of the posts for the prolific Tyrer pushed the lead to 16-6. The opportunity presented itself just minutes later in the very same position, and it was a case of deja-vu as Tyrer added two more, Fax now leading 18-6.
There would still be time for Fax to rub salt into the wounds of the Broncos thanks to a late drop-goal from Gareth Moore, ensuring the game – as a contest - was well and truly over.
The final whistle went and the celebrations started with Fax running out worthy winners after a mightily impressive performance.
Next week sees Halifax take on League 1 side Hunslet in the Challenge Cup at the MBi Shay Stadium.