Hockey: Halifax back in style after the cold snap

Halifax 5 Brigg 2 HALIFAX picked up where they left off after a seven week break, Matthew Pinder's men playing some sublime hockey in Saturday's Yorkshire Premier Division match at Park Lane High, Halifax.

Coaches Paul Graham and Matthew Metcalfe had a full strength squad to choose from, but their side made the worst possible start, as their young defence failed to react to keeper James Smith's short corner save and the Brigg centre forward scored.

Halifax steadily built pressure to take a firm grip on the game.

Workmanlike striker Jake Bamforth hit a post after neat build up play involving Ben Barron and Richard Nutting.

Then Nutting grabbed the equaliser, jabbing the ball over the on-rushing Brigg keeper after Matthew Graham had played him in.

Henry Shelton had his best game of the season at the back to restrict the visitors.

Pinder missed a good chance but made amends from the edge of the D following Leigh Walker's run.

Then Matthew Graham produced a moment of magic, as he controlled a pass from Olly James, spun past his marker and slammed home from the edge of the area to make it 3-1 at half time.

Soon after half time Nutting grabbed his second from Bamforth's pass.

Brigg dominated for 10 minutes and grabbed a goal when Shelton slipped on the wet surface.

Metcalfe then reintroduced Nutting and that proved decisive as the target man scored a goal of the season contender.

Young Tom Love found Graham in space and Bamforth fed an inviting ball to Nutting, who chipped the ball over the keeper and managed to find enough curl to slide the ball into the top corner of the net, giving the home side a fifth straight victory.

Halifax III 0

Huddersfield Dragons V 0

HALIFAX extended their unbeaten run to six games in Yorkshire Six North and stay above the Dragons in third.

Having last played in early December, it almost felt like starting a new season and although some passes inevitably went astray, it was a game of high quality with a draw probably a fair result.

Ben Greenwood missed a good early chance but the youngster responded by turning in a man of the match performance.

Steve Sparkes had replaced Mathew Bretton in goal and the sturdy stopper was busy throughout, keeping Halifax in the match.

Halifax shaded possession while Dragons utilised their speedy young forwards on the break. Fortunately, Bryn Hans, Nick Barker and Chris Reynolds were able to snuff out most of the Dragons' fire.

Huddersfield nullified the threat of twin strikers Josh Sutcliffe and John Horsley while both keepers were in fine form, one double parry from the away keeper being particularly impressive.

Lee Chapman was forceful on the right of midfield and Ben Greenwood ran his socks off on the left for Halifax while subs Trevor Love and Mathew Ward also turned in good performances.