By Stephen Ibbetson
Halifax RLFC Reserves put in a spirited display as they were beaten 22-6 by Wigan Warriors Reserves.
Fax had the lead early on through a Frazer Morris try, but four unanswered tries gave the visitors victory.
Fax lined up with several first team players including Dan Fleming, as well as Ed Barber and James Woodburn-Hall who made their returns from injury.
On the opposing side Wigan lined up with a number of well-known youngsters, including the likes of James Worthington, Josh Woods, Callum Field and Macauley Davies who had all previously appeared for the Warriors in the Betfred Super League.
Wigan thought they had got off to the perfect start, but a neatly worked try for Sam Grant, made by what looked to be an excellent offload from Woods which was ruled to have been forward.
Fax built momentum from there, with Jamie Stringer making a great carry after a neat move before winning a penalty as the defender held him down. Ed Barber was then held up over the line, before they got the game’s first try.
Barber was involved as he rose to catch a James Woodburn-Hall lofted kick, and managed to find Morris to dive in. Jordan Syme kicked the conversion to put Fax 6-0 up.
Wigan got back into it when Aiden Roden burrowed his way to the line out of dummy half, although Harry Smith couldn’t convert so Halifax held a narrow lead.
That might have been extended soon after, as Adam Brook played a delightful grubber inside for Chris Cullimore to touch down, but he was ruled to have been offside.
Wigan did then take the lead, with Smith playing the short pass to Liam Paisley who was running a good line to go over from close range. Smith slotted the conversion to put them 10-6 ahead.
The closest Halifax came to a response before half-time was through a very neat move to the left edge, but Ash Berry was just about caught by the scrambling Warriors defence as he looked to score.
It took Wigan just four minutes into the second half to extend their lead. It came from a break from Woods, who found Worthington who then in turn found Joe Brown on the left touchline. He then worked it back inside to Davies in the clear to score the try, which Smith converted to put them ten points in front.
Halifax did have some pressure on the Wigan line, but both Connor Hampson and Jack Fairbank were held up over the line within a space of a minute and strong defence kept them at bay.
Samuel Kibula was also held up at the other end, before good scrambling defence was needed to prevent from Woods from making it to the line after a break created by Davies.
Curtis Davies had to be held up as he looked to drive over from dummy half for Fax, while Wigan could have been in at the other end but Woods’ audacious attempted pass out the back for Worthington clearly went forward.
Fax pushed towards the end, forcing successive dropouts in the final minutes, but were unable to find a way through strong Wigan defence.
They were punished in the final minute when Reece Hamlett ran clear on the right wing to round off the win for the Warriors, with Smith’s successful conversion the last action of the game.
Halifax RLFC Reserves: Morgan; Berry, Barber, Syme, Stringer; Woodburn-Hall, Brook; Jack Fairbank, Cullimore, Fleming; Connor Davies, Calcott, F Morris.
Interchange: Nutall, Newby, Corcos, Gibbs, Hampson, Billingham, Henry Davies, Curtis Davies.
Tries: F Morris
Goals: Syme (1/1)
Wigan Warriors Reserves: Mullen; Grant, Worthington, Forsyth, Brown; Smith, Woods; Field, Roden, Kibula; Paisley, Macauley Davies, Partington.
Interchange: Marshall, Hamlett, Byrne, Smithies, Clavering.
Tries: Roden, Paisley, Davies, Hamlett
Goals: Smith (3/4)
Man of the Match: Frazer Morris