By Stephen Ibbetson
Halifax RLFC Reserves beat Keighley Cougars Reserves 60-10 in a dominant performance at the MBi Shay Stadium.
After trading early scores Fax took control, running in ten tries in total including braces from Adam Newby and Jack Fairbank, complemented by an impressive ten goals from as many attempts by Adam Brook.
It took 13 minutes for the first points of the game to be scored, and they went to Halifax with Newby breaking through the defence with good feet before dummying a pass and going over himself.
Fax conceded a scrum from the restart and needed good defence to hold up both Harvey Hallas and Luke Walters. They then knocked on to give possession straight back to Keighley, who punished the error with Davey Dixon flying down the right wing to score.
Daniel Parker missed the conversion to keep the home side narrowly in front, and they extended that lead with another try on 22 minutes as Kian Oldroyd played a delicious grubber kick for Fairbank to touch down unopposed after heavy Fax pressure.
However, they again conceded possession straight from the restart, and were again punished with Aaron Levy touching down his own clever grubber under the posts.
Cain Crotty was sent to the bin after holding down Conor McGrath following a break to hallway from Brook, and Fax immediately made the advantage count with a good move left that finished with Kai Williams going over in the corner.
Williams had to go off shortly after, suffering an injury as he was dragged in goal by the Keighley defence. Fax needed more strong defence to keep the Cougars out from that, holding up Timothy Stubbs over the line before Davey Dixon went over in the right corner only for a forward pass to be rightly spotted by the referee.
Halifax punished them with a couple of minutes left of the half by scoring a fourth try. A long kick downfield was knocked on by Calvin Barker, and they attacked the short side from the scrum with Newby playing in Jack Etchells to score in the right corner.
It took just two minutes for Fax to get rolling in the second half, as Conor McGrath went in down the left side after claiming a kick to bring the hosts up to 30 points.
They continued to dominate against a tiring Keighley side, and the next to score was Fairbank, who crashed over after a looping pass from Will Calcott for his second of the night, just short of the hour mark.
Newby notched a brace of his own just a minute later by finishing off a neat Halifax break, and they made it three in five minutes when Henry Davies took a short pass and skipped around three defenders to score.
Ash Berry was the next to score with four minutes left, taking in the pass from Brad Allen to finish off a Fax break after a number of offloads.
They reached 60 points with the last action of the game, as Brook managed to get through a couple of defenders to ground the ball on the line. Brook converted his own try to complete his brilliant performance from the tee and Fax’s in general.
Halifax RLFC Reserves: Berry; Etchells, McGrath, Newby, Williams; Oldroyd, Brook; Jack Fairbank, Curtis Davies, Calcott; Henry Davies, Connor Davies, F Morris.
Interchanges: Billingham, Nuttall, Hampson, Allen, Frost.
Tries: Newby (13’, 60’), Fairbank (22’, 58’), Williams (30’), Etchells (38’), McGrath (42’), H Davies (63’), Berry (76’), Brook (80’)
Goals: Brook (10/10)
Keighley Cougars Reserves: Barker; Smith, Clarkson, Crotty, Dixon; Parker, Levy; O’Sullivan. Walters, Ross; Jackson, Nicholson, Hallas.
Interchanges: McConville, Kinnaird, Adams, Stubbs, Harlow-Stephenson, Samociuk-Barnes, Markham.
Tries: Dixon (17’), Levy (25’)
Goals: Parker (1/2)
Man of the Match: Jack Fairbank