By Jacob Kilbride | Photo by Simon Hall
Halifax RLFC came from behind to rescue two vital points as late tries from Steve Tyrer and James Saltonstall secured a late 18-16 win over Swinton Lions in the Betfred Championship.
Fax were 10-0 behind after a tough first half before the two sides exchanged tries to leave Halifax 10 points behind with as many minutes remaininig. Saltonstall and Tyrer came up with two cruical moments of quality to push the hosts narrowly ahead and secure a win that puts Halifax in the play-off places.
Tyrer had the match's first major chance when he narrowly missed a grubber from the returning Ben Johnston, while Shaun Robinson was forced into touch minutes later cloes to the left corner.
Swinton capitalised when a scramble for the ball fell kindly for Matty Ashton to dive in over on the right flank before the Lions targeted the same area minutes later when a Harry Smith kick was well weight for Ashton to score again.
Smith converted the latter but not the former of the tries for a 10-0 lead at the interval.
The lead didn't last long after the restart as a Johnston break provided the platform for Scott Murrell to kick to the right with Saltonstall profiting from Sharp's knock down. Steve Tyrer tagged on the goal.
Halifax couldn't maintain that momentum and Swinton regained their 10-point advantage when Rob Fairclough put a kick in behind and stand-in skipper Mike Butt was quicker than the back-pedalling Fax defenders to finish. Smith coverted again.
With ten minutes left, Halifax were handed a lifeline when a dropped ball by the Lions 10 metres from their line fell kindly to Murrell who turned the ball to Robinson before he teed up Tyrer to hit the inside line and dive over. He converted his own score to set up a dramatic finale.
It turned out to be the finish that the fax fans were craving. Murrell again began the move, spraying the ball to the right, with the quick hands of Quentin Laulu-Togaga'e putting the on-rushing Saltonstall over for a second.
With the scores level, an inch-perfect Tyrer conversion from just metres inside of the touchline found the middle of the posts for a 2-point lead which fax would hold onto until the final hooter.
Halifax: Laulu-Togaga'e, Robinson, Tyrer, Saltonstall, Sharp; Murrell, Johnston; Fleming, Kaye, Fairbank; Larroyer, Grady, Grix.
Subs: Moore, Cooper, E Morris, Kavanagh
Tries: Saltonstall (49', 74'), Tyrer (71')
Goals: Tyrer (3/3)
Swinton: Hansen, Butt, Forsyth, Hankinson, Ashton; Smith, Fairclough; Bennion, Waterworth, Hatton; Halton, Shelford, Kenga.
Subs: Ganson, Hall, Jones, Williams
Tries: Ashton (26', 31'), Butt (60')
Goals: Smith (2/3)
Man of the Match: Steve Tyrer
Hit Man: Simon Grix