By Stephen Ibbetson
Halifax RLFC Reserves scored ten tries as the cruised to a 56-0 victory over Keighley Cougars at the MBi Shay Stadium.
They were in control of the match from start to finish, and led 24-0 at the break with a brace from Sion Jones and a try each for Kian Oldroyd and Kian Morgan.
Ellis Nuttall, Conor McGrath, Lee Registe, Jack Fairbank, James Szuluk and Connor Davies all added second half scores, while Morgan added a further 16 points with the boot.
Keighley started well before Fairbank was almost in on two occasions, but a knock on and then an offside decision kept the game scoreless.
Halifax did get the first points though after nine minutes. The chance looked to be gone when McGrath was tackled after Kai Williams had kept a cross-field kick in play, but Fax were awarded a penalty and took advantage with Jones going over.
The Cougars put pressure on by forcing a drop out, but as they looked to score Davey Dixon’s pass was intercepted by Oldroyd who sprinted the length of the pitch for the try.
At that point Fax began to turn on the style, with the third try coming from a McGrath break and offload to Macauley Davies, who assisted Morgan to run in.
The fourth was perhaps the best of them all, started by an incredible run by Registe in his own half. He weaved past half of the Keighley team, before Nico Rizzelli carried further and found Jones, who still had plenty of work to do but displayed great feet to dance past the last defender and score his second try.
That took Fax 24-0 up at the interval, and they quickly went about extending that with two more tries in the first four minutes after the restart.
Ellis Nuttall got them carrying on where they left off, as he carried strongly to the line and managed to ground the ball despite the attempts of three Cougar defenders to stop him.
Fax then scored again from the restart, as Macauley Davies made a great break down the left and found McGrath running inside him to finish the job.
Halifax continued to put pressure on the visitors, forcing two consecutive drop outs before a knock on gave them a third repeat set and they finally took advantage, with quick hands left allowing Registe to go over in the right corner.
Morgan should have had a second try, having claimed a kick close to the tryline and run the length of the pitch, but a defender managed to chase back and get a hold of him in the in goal to force him to knock on as he tried to ground.
Fairbank did make it over though, scoring an eighth Halifax try with a clever show and go that left the defender for dead and the prop forward celebrating.
There was time for two more tries in the final minutes, with a good break from Morris and assist from Fairbank allowing Szuluk to add his name to the scoresheet.
Connor Davies then did the same with the final action of the game, supporting Jones after his fantastic break downfield to score a tenth try in a resounding Halifax win.
Halifax RLFC Reserves: Rizzelli; Registe, Newby, McGrath, Williams; Morgan, Oldroyd; F Morris, Curtis Davies, Fairbank; M Davies, Jones, Connor Davies.
Interchanges: Berry, Frost, Hampson, Nuttall, Szuluk, Allen, Dewhirst.
Tries: Jones (10’, 27’), Oldroyd (16’), Morgan (24’), Nuttall (42’), McGrath (44’), Registe (55’), Fairbank (68’), Szuluk (76’), Connor Davies (79’)
Goals: Morgan (8/10)
Keighley Cougars Reserves: Dixon; Smith, Barnes, McConville, Nowell; Levy, Jeffries; Kinnaird, Cullimore, O’Sullivan; Clarkson, Jackson, Adams.
Interchanges: Turland, Darwin, Stubbs, Samociuk-Barnes.
Man of the Match: Nico Rizzelli