Halifax made it four wins from four at the MBi Shay this afternoon after an Ed Barber hat-trick helped beat Dewsbury Rams 26-0.
Barber’s treble alongside Shaun Robinson’s late first-half score and five Steve Tyrer goals secured a professional win for Fax who sealed a win to nil for the first time since June 2017.
Barber returned to the squad after a week out while Reece Chapman-Smith made his first start of the season.
Halifax’s first tackle of the game resulted in a knock on from the visitors, which put Fax in a good field position immediately. The set ended in Ben Kaye kicking in behind the goal-line and Dewsbury knocking the ball out forcing a restart from under the sticks.
Paul Sykes’ kick was an early indication of how the pitch would hold up, his kick didn’t even get off the ground and Fax were on the front foot. Consistent pressure from the home side and domination meant that the visitors hadn’t completed a set of six or had to ball in Fax’s half for the first ten minutes.
Halifax forcing knock-ons from Dewsbury was a constant theme in the first-half, in good field position again Fax’s set ended with Ben Kaye being held up and preventing what looked like a try.
However, moments later Jacob Fairbank managed to beat a man and put Barber into open space, the number 12 capitalised and slid over to get the first points of the game on the board. Tyrer made no mistakes with the conversion and put Fax six points up.
Shortly after Dewsbury were penalised for being offside and Tyrer kicked the penalty over from just under the sticks for an 8-0 lead.
Dewsbury then managed to get a real hold of the ball for the first time in the game which forced Fax to defend several sets on their line. It didn’t manage to hurt Fax who held up with some impressive defending.
A coming together in the middle of the pitch resulted in both sides coming together and arguing, after it had died down the referee sent Barber into the sin-bin and he would miss the rest of the half. Debutant Chapman-Smith had dealt well with Dewsbury’s kicks and he stood up to the test on his debut start.
The game had died down slightly but then with ten seconds left on the clock Fax turned it up a gear. Johnstone offloaded brilliant to find Grady, who broke the line and played a looping pass out wide to Robinson, just as the ball was caught the hooter sounded and the in-form winger crashed over. Tyrer had a chance to add the extras and converted well from the touchline. Fax entered the dressing room 14 points to the good.
The opening minutes of the second-half were even, with both sides having good possession of the ball. But it was the return of Barber from the sin-bin who sparked the final 40 into life. Another Dewsbury knock on gave Fax a chance to score and there was no stopping Barber who barged his way under the sticks for his second try of the game, Tyrer converted and the gap was extended to 20 points.
Dewsbury then found themselves with a chance to put their first points on the board, and after five minutes of excellent defending Rob Worrincy was put into touch.
Fax turned it up again and were controlling the match for the next fifteen minutes. It was then time for Barber to grab his hat-trick. He found himself acting as hooker on the right wing and fooled the defence by ghosting his way down the blind-side and not even two of Rams’ defenders were going to stop the Man of the Match grabbing his third.
Tyrer stepped up and converted from the touchline again and The Fax led 26-0. The game was controlled by Halifax for the remaining part and it ended 26-0, that is now four wins out of four at The Shay for Fax.
Halifax: Chapman-Smith, Sharp, Tyrer, Saltonstall, Robinson; Murrell, Johnston; Fleming, Kaye, Fairbank; Larroyer, Grady, Barber.
Subs: Kavanagh, Morris, Moore, Cooper.
Tries: Barber (15’, 47’, 67’), Robinson (40’)
Goals: Tyrer (5/5)
Dewsbury: Hooley, Worrincy, Walshaw, Ryder, Morton, Sykes, Finn, Annakin, Day, Garratt, Harrison, Kibula, K. Trout.
Subs: Ward, Knowles, Igbinedion, Mustapha.
Man of the Match: Ed Barber
Hit Man: Brandon Moore