By Jacob Kilbride
Halifax RLFC booked their place in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup fifth round after a hard fought win over League 1 side Hunslet RLFC at the MBi Shay Stadium.
Halifax begun the game in superb fashion with a try inside the opening four minutes. After being given a penalty inside the Hunslet 20m, Fax capitalised as Ed Barber held off two challenges to touch down on the right hand side. Steve Tyrer was unable to move Fax six points ahead as he kicked his conversion wide.
Hunslet looked as if they were about to respond immediately as Widnes loanee Ryan Ince found space in the right corner, but, Shane Grady was on hand to put the winger into touch, metres from the line.
The visitors continued to look dangerous around the Fax try line as in the 16th minute, Hunslet debutant Sean Hesketh touched down only for the referee to deny the try due to a forward pass.
Halifax were able to capitalise on Hunslet’s wastefulness with their second try of the game midway through the half.
Gareth Moore’s superb diagonal kick was collected by Butler who touched down in the corner. Tyrer nailed a touchline conversion, his 20th of the season.
A series of knock ons by both sides prevented any genuine rhythm to the game but it was Halifax who dealt best with the conditions.
Within the final minutes, Fax missed chances to increase their lead as Tyrer spilt the ball metres away before Butler was denied a second try after being pushed into touch by Mufaro Mvududu.
Halifax did manage to turn their chances into points however, as Tyrer kicked a superb penalty from 47 metres to take it to 12-0.
It was almost a dream start to the second half for the home side as Chris Cullimore came close to scoring on his debut only to be stopped close to the line in the 43rd minute.
Hunslet dominated possession in the early periods, however, a number of errors and some superb Fax defending preventing them from scoring.
Fax weathered the storm and edged further ahead as Tyrer slotted home another penalty goal.
Hunslet’s patience in attack was finally rewarded nine minutes from full-time as Ince raced past fellow winger Worrincy to score in the corner after a clever kick through by Daniel Ansell.
Ansell brilliantly converted from the wide angle to reduce Halifax’s lead to just eight points and set up a climatic finale to the game.
Halifax held on though and in just two minutes from time they scored their third try of the game to seal the victory.
A well worked set by Fax saw Moore kick through the gap into the left corner where Worrincy was able to touch down with ease. Tyrer’s final conversion sealed the win and booked Fax a place in Tuesday’s fifth round draw.