By Jacob Kilbride
Halifax RLFC earned their first away victory of the season after they fought to a 26-20 win against Rochdale Hornets at the Crown Oil Arena.
Fax trailed 14-6 after 50 minutes before they battled back to score four second-half tries, with Will Sharp grabbing two of the them, to establish an ultimately unassailable lead.
Halifax have now won all of their last five meetings against Rochdale and won away from the MBi Shay Stadium for the first time since July’s win at Featherstone Rovers.
After a dozen minutes, Fax dominated much of the early territory but it was Rochdale who put the first points on the board against the run of play.
Harvey Livett’s offload set away former Welsh international Rob Massam down the left flank and the winger touched down unchallenged to the left of the sticks.
Provider Livett converted from inside the left touchline and, four minutes later, scored another goal after the Hornets were awarded a penalty 25 metres out, putting them 8-0 in front.
Fax continued to see much of the possession in the Rochdale half, but consistent errors with ball in hand proved to be their undoing.
Richard Marshall’s side did cut Rochdale’s lead though with a much-needed try a minute before the break as Ben Kaye dived over from dummy half for his first points of the season.
Steve Tyrer scored his first away goal of the year, reducing the deficit to just a couple of points at the break
Once again though it was Rochdale who started the quicker in the second period as prop Pat Moran charged over the line just four minutes after the restart.
Livett made it three goals from three attempts as Rochdale reaffirmed their eight-point lead.
Halifax responded well though and showed their quality as 2017 Star Man Sharp showed his quality offensively as he found room to touchdown in the right corner.
Five minutes later, with the momentum now firmly in Fax’s favour, Simon Grix put the scores level after he reacted quickest to a Murrell bomb wide which was allowed to bounce before grounding under the sticks.
Tyrer knocked over from in front of the posts having missed his earlier effort.
After the hour mark, Sharp completed his double after Fax quickly shifted the ball to the left flank for the full-back to dummy his way through and dives over in the corner.
Centre Tyrer was short with his conversion attempt as Halifax remained just six points in front with 15 minutes remaining.
A tense finale commenced but it was Fax who would finish the stronger as, with just two minutes remaining, a stunning off-load from captain Scott Murrell allowed Ed Barber to go over for a crucial fifth try of the afternoon.
Tyrer scored for the third time from the right side to put Fax 12 points ahead and all but secure the win.
Rochdale showed great spirit though and in the final minute snatched a late and deserved try.
Livett powered over a couple of Fax defenders on the line before converting his own score, but it proved to be too little too late for the Hornets as Fax held on for the victory.
Rochdale Hornets: Lepori, Cross, Hurst, King, Massam; Palfrey, Yates; Taira, Moores, L Adamson; Allen, Mitchell, Livett
Subs: T Adamson, Maneely, Moran, Johnson
Tries: Massam (13’), Moran (44’), Livett (80’)
Goals: Livett (4/4)
Halifax RLFC: Sharp, Clare, Heaton, Tyrer, Saltonstall; Murrell, Woodburn-Hall; Maher, Moore, Murray; Barber, Grix, Jacob Fairbank
Subs: Fleming, Kaye, Jones, E Morris
Tries: Kaye (39’), Sharp (52’, 64’), Grix (57’), Barber (78’)
Goals: Tyrer (3/6)
Man of the Match: Will Sharp
|Last 8 Meetings|
|7th April 2019: Halifax RLFC win 48-24 at Crown Oil Arena|
|29th July 2018: Halifax RLFC win 38-6 at The MBi Shay Stadium|
|25th February 2018: Halifax RLFC win 26-20 at Crown Oil Arena|
|21st May 2017: Halifax RLFC win 28-2 at MBi Shay|
|26th February 2017: Halifax RLFC win 20-6 at Crown Oil Arena|
|22nd June 2014: Halifax RLFC win 42-24 at The Shay|
|18th May 2014: Halifax RLFC win 28-12 at Spotland Stadium|
|19th February 2012: Halifax RLFC win 38-6 at The Shay|