By Jacob Kilbride | Photo by Simon Hall
Halifax RLFC claimed their first victory of the 2019 pre-season after they came from behind to defeat Hunslet 32-24 at the LD Nutrition Stadium.
Off-season recruits Kevin Larroyer and Ben White were amongst the Halifax try-scorers as Fax overcame an eight-point deficit to earn victory by the same margin.
The two sides had a try apiece after a dozen minutes with James Watson opening the scoring for Hunslet before a stunning acrobatic finish by Conor McGrath followed.
Fax’s Jordan Syme couldn’t convert as counterpart Reece Dean had, leaving the Blue and Whites trailing by two points.
Michael Emmett twisted his way over from close range though Halifax cut that gap back to two when Kevin Larroyer barged his way through from a similar distance.
With ten minutes remaining, ex-Halifax winger Gareth Potts was the gleeful recipient of a well-placed long pass to the corner with a third Dean goal opening up an eight-point lead.
Hunslet were dealt a blow soon after as another former Fax man Richard Moore was sent to sin bin for dissent. Fax capitalised on the numerical advantage when a mazy James Saltonstall allowed Ben White to cross for a debut try.
A horrible error seconds from the half-time hooter gave Hunslet their eight-point advantage back as Adam Brook’s pass 10m from his own line was taken by Dean to touch down and convert.
Halifax provided a strong response in the second period, though struggled to break the tough Hunslet rearguard, with Sion Jones twice held up in the dozen minutes after the interval.
The second-half deadlock was broken when Harry Kidd dived over from short range before Syme’s conversion put Fax 24-22 behind.
The Hunslet defence remained firm until late on as their ill-discipline despite (conceding 13 penalties in all) proved to be there undoing.
Two tries in three minutes put Halifax in front with Shaun Robinson diving over by the flag from Frazer Morris’ break before James Saltonstall rounded the afternoon’s work after good work by James Woodburn-Hall then Ed Barber.
A Syme goals followed after the latter as Halifax recorded a 32-24 win.
Halifax RLFC: Woodburn-Hall, McGrath, Syme, Butler, Saltonstall; White, Brook; E Morris, Curtis Davies, Kidd; Larroyer, Connor Davies, Calcott
Interchanges: Moore, Cooper, Barber, Robinson, Jones, F Morris
Tries: McGrath (12'), Larroyer (22'), White (37'), Kidd (54'), Robinson (70'), Saltonstall (73')
Goals: Syme (4/6)
Hunslet: Watson, Potts, Halafihi, Ashton, Bloomfield; Southernwood, Dean; Moore, Wright, Robinson; Heaton, Straugheir, Emmett
Interchanges: Flynn, Haley, Hawksworth, Webb, Nicklas, Sanderson
Tries: Watson (6’), Emmett (18'), Potts (29'), Dean (40')
Goals: Dean (4/4)
Goal Line Drop Outs: 2-0