Hor­nets’ early hopes dashed


ROCHDALE Hor­nets were left dis­ap­pointed as they fell to de­feat at the hands of Hal­i­fax at The Shay on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

A poor sec­ond half saw them fall out of reach of their op­po­nents, as they showed fa­tigue in the lat­ter stages of the game due to the sheer amount of de­fend­ing they were forced into.

Some of that de­fend­ing was brought on by han­dling er­rors, and although they con­ceded 28 points they still de­fended their line well un­til their en­ergy was zapped.

The af­ter­noon started well as Danny Yates put Rochdale ahead with just six min­utes on the clock with a penalty goal which he drilled over from 30 me­tres out.

That was their only score though as the first try of the game went the way of the hosts as Shane Grady broke the de­fen­sive line be­fore find­ing Ben John­ston in sup­port, who raced over on 16 min­utes for a try which was con­verted by Steve Tyrer.

Grady came up with an­other try as­sist five min­utes later as he man­aged to off load on his way to the ground, with Tyrer walk­ing in for a try which he couldn’t con­vert.

Si­mon Grix al­most sent Ben Heaton over with a clever kick be­fore up the other end Rob Mas­sam knocked on in an at­tempt to pluck a Yates kick out of the air.

With six min­utes of the first pe­riod re­main­ing Grady broke the line once again, and de­spite hav­ing Tyrer and Rob Wor­rincy in sup­port he tried to go alone be­fore Chris Ri­ley hauled him down.

The Hor­nets full­back held on too long though and ref­eree Gareth Hewer pro­duced the yel­low card as he was forced to sit out the next 10 min­utes, with Hal­i­fax lead­ing 10-2 at the break.

With a man in the bin they de­fended valiantly, which in­cluded some great cover tack­les from Miles Greenwood and Jack Holmes de­spite be­ing down to 12 men.

Fax’s lead was ex­tended 11 min­utes into the sec­ond pe­riod as Ed Bar­ber some­how off loaded un­der the at­ten­tion of three de­fend­ers, and Will Sharp was on hand to touch down un­der the sticks.

Within five min­utes they were in again, as im­me­di­ately af­ter Lewis Pal­frey had knocked on 20 me­tres out from the hosts’ line Scott Mur­rell broke with a show and go, as Adam Tan­gata cruised over in sup­port for a con­verted ef­fort.

The sec­ond half pe­tered out as the qual­ity of the game de­clined with un­forced er­rors, but the home side man­aged to cap a dom­i­nant dis­play with a try three min­utes from time as Grix crossed af­ter back­ing up Tyrer’s break. Next up for Hor­nets is a trip to Black­pool as they face ri­vals Oldham in the Sum­mer Bash on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

Sean Hans­ford

Danny Yates got Hor­nets off to a promis­ing start

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