Featherstone’s fight­back is not enough to deny Hal­i­fax vic­tory

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - RUGBY LEAGUE -

HAL­I­FAX kept them­selves in the race for a top-four Cham­pi­onship fin­ish with two tries in the fi­nal five min­utes snatch­ing a 24-18 win over ri­vals Featherstone Rovers at Bloom­field Road.

Richard Mar­shall’s side were in con­trol at the break when they led 14-0, but Rovers turned the con­test on its head in the open­ing 18 min­utes of the sec­ond half, scor­ing three tries to go 18-14 ahead.

But Ben Johnston struck five min­utes from time, af­ter some magic from Quentin Laulu-To­ga­gae, to re­store their ad­van­tage and then Scott Mur­rell pounced to seal the win.

Fax took the lead, hooker Ben Kaye pok­ing a short kick out of dummy half and Mur­rell col­lect­ing the ball to touch down.

Steve Tyrer kicked the con­ver­sion for a 6-0 lead and with Featherstone con­sis­tently un­der­min­ing their own efforts with a steady flow of penal­ties, it was no real sur­prise when Fax added to their tally.

Johnston shifted the ball to the left and QLT found Tyrer with a short pass that gave him enough room to round Josh Hard­cas­tle on his way to the cor­ner.

The cen­tre con­verted and Tyrer added a penalty to lead 14-0.

The sec­ond half started with Dan Fleming spark­ing a melee by slap­ping Mitch Clark, the up­shot be­ing both play­ers in the sin bin and a Rovers penalty. Rovers fi­nally got on the board when Gareth Hock rum­bled over, Hard­man kick­ing the con­ver­sion, and with 25 min­utes re­main­ing the game was back in the melt­ing pot when An­thony Thack­eray danced over, Hard­man’s con­ver­sion leav­ing Fax cling­ing to a 14-12 lead.

And when Matty Wildie stepped out of Tan­gata’s tackle to touch down, Hard­man kicked Rovers 18-14 ahead with 22 min­utes re­main­ing.

Fax worked their way back into con­tention, de­spite los­ing Tyrer to the sin bin for a trip with 13 min­utes re­main­ing, and might have at least been level when QLT ghosted through, only to be called back for a for­ward pass.

But when QLT slipped through a gap brilliantly with five min­utes to go, Johnston drifted up on the in­side to take the scor­ing pass, Shane Grady kick­ing the cru­cial con­ver­sion.

Mur­rell sealed things in the fi­nal minute with a scrappy close range kick and chase that sealed a cru­cial vic­tory.

SCOTT MUR­RELL: Scored the match-winning try for Hal­i­fax against Featherstone Rovers.

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