By Alex Robinson | Photo by Simon Hall
Halifax RLFC secured their first win of the season with a hard-fought 33-26 victory against Leigh Centurions.
Three tries either side of half-time earned Fax a hard-fought win. Tries from Brandon Moore, Steve Tyrer, Ben White, Ed Barber and a brace from Shaun Robinson was enough to claim the win.
Halifax were the quickest off the mark, a Murrell’s high kick wasn’t dealt with as Leigh came away with the ball, but Moore re-gained possession as he pounced on the loose ball to cross the whitewash to score the game’s opening try. Steve Tyrer converted from the left of the posts.
Halifax’s lead didn’t last for long as Leigh responded with a try of their own five minutes later. A bullet pass from Woods found Thornley who barged over from close distance. Martyn Ridyard converted to level the scores.
Just three minutes later Leigh extended their lead, a cross-field kick from Josh Woods found Jonny Pownall who rose highest to cross the whitewash for Leigh. Ridyard conversion was successful.
Halifax levelled the score with a carbon copy of Leigh’s last try. A trademark Murrell cross-field kick found Tyrer who leapt and collected to score. Tyrer made no mistake in converting his try.
After a penalty conceded for holding down, Leigh further attacked the Fax’s line but a brilliant tackle from the Fax defence stopped Matt Costello in his tracks. Several minutes later Halifax conceded another penalty for a ball steal, as Ridyard put Leigh two points ahead with the penalty.
Fax regained the lead just three minutes later, Ben White followed up his own grubber to touch down for his first Halifax try. Tyrer made it 3/3 with his conversion.
With 20 seconds to go Fax conceded a penalty for holding down, however, Ridyard couldn’t convert from 49 metres.
A penalty conceded from Leigh saw Halifax with a golden opportunity to put further points on the board. The following set Fax made the Centurions pay, several pairs of hands later Fax spread the ball right to left and Tyrer gave a simple pass to Shaun Robinson to score in the corner. Tyrer’s curling effort from the touchline was just wide to keep the score line 22-14.
Fax further punished the Leigh defence three minutes later. A fantastic initial break from QLT saw Fax with good possession close to the Leigh line. A good cut out pass from White found Tyrer and with a two on one situation, who chose the right option to pass to Robinson, who scored his second of the game. This time around Tyrer conversion from the touchline was successful.
Tempers flared as a scuffle broke out between both teams. Moore was subsequently shown a yellow card. Pownall was initially shown a yellow card for his part in the scuffle but after sarcastically clapping the referee he was shown the red card.
Following back-to-back penalties for Leigh, Luke Adamson dived over from the close distance to score Leigh’s first try of the second half.
With five minutes remaining Halifax put more misery on the Leythers defence, 20 metres out and in front of the sticks White’s drop goal sailed through the sticks to put Halifax 33-20 up.
In the closing minutes, Leigh found themselves with a consolation try. Tobias Adamson powered his way over from close distance. Ridyard converted but it was too little too late as Fax claimed a vital win at the MBI Shay.
Halifax RLFC: Laulu-Togaga’e; Robinson, Tyrer, Saltonstall, Sharp; Murrell, White; Fleming, Moore, Kavanagh; Larroyer, Barber, Grix.
Interchange: Morris, Fairbank, Chapman-Smith, Calcott
Tries: Moore (4'), Tyrer (19'), White (28'), Robinson (57', 59'), Barber (63')
Goals: Tyrer (3/3)
Drop Goals: White (75')
Leigh Centurions: McNally; Pownall, Thornley, Costello, Marsh; Ridyard, Woods; Douglas, Higham, Brooks; Adamson, Thornley, Adamson.
Interchange: Spencer, Cator, Smith, Ashworth
Tries: A Thornley (9'), Pownall (12'), L Adamson (69'), T Adamason (78')
Goals: Ridyard (5/6)
Man Of The Match: Steve Tyrer
Hit Man: Kevin Larroyer