By Joe Neadley
Halifax RLFC completed an Easter double with a narrow 16-14 home win over Oldham Roughyeds.
Tries from Ben Johnston and James Saltonstall being enough to see Fax home to attain their fourth consecutive win and ending the gruelling Easter period on a high note.
Oldham hit back late on through Kieran Gill, Joe Burke and Jamal Chisholm but Fax held on regardless.
The narrow win means they drop a place in the table but remain level on points with London Broncos and in touch with Featherstone Rovers and Toulouse Olympique.
Fax started the better as they inflicted pressure on the Roughyeds early on.
Oldham survived initially before a reverse kick from Scott Murrell was chased by Johnston, who scored under the posts, a carbon copy of his effort at Bradford,
Stephen Tyrer converted and concluded the points scoring in an error-strewn first half at 6-0.
The second half saw the fatigue come into show following such a busy period.
Tempers started to flare too that resulted in a sin-bin for Liam Bent in his return to the Shay following a scuffle.
Tyrer edged Fax further ahead with his 30 metre penalty goal before Fax took control of the match with their second try.
Saltonstall finished off some slick handling orchestrated by Scott Murrell, taking him up to first position on the Kingstone Press Championship’s try scoring charts this season.
Tyrer superbly slotted over his touchline conversion attempt to help Fax into a 14-0 lead.
However, life soon became much more difficult as Oldham started their fightback, albeit controversially.
A high kick from Scott Leatherbarrow was supposedly knocked on by Will Sharp despite the attentions of Scott Turner before the free play was shifted out wide to Gill, who quickly touched down to put Oldham on the score sheet.
Oldham soon added their second as Burke barged over from close range following Sam Gee’s bullet pass, with Leatherbarrow’s conversion reducing the deficit to just four points.
Tyrer then settled a nerve or two with his second penalty goal of the clash but Oldham refused to go away and took the match to a nail-biting finish.
Displaying their credentials to survive relegation, Oldham produced some quick handling that allowed Chisholm to race over in the corner.
However, Leatherbarrow was unable to hold his nerve as his touchline conversion attempt was wide.
Though a knock on by Sharp invited oldham for a last gasp finish close to their try line but a try saving tackle from Steve Tyrer and Ben Johnston denied Adam Clay a match winner, despite the latter looking dead certain to score!
Fax then held their nerve and closed out a tough match to end the Easter period with maximum points.
Next up is a trip to Whitehaven RLFC in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Fifth Round; make sure you’re there as Fax aim for a historic run in the competition to crown off our 30th anniversary of our Wembley triumph!