Halifax draw with leaders

Luke Sturman in possession for Halifax against Stocksbridge
Luke Sturman in possession for Halifax against Stocksbridge

Halifax drew 12-12 at home to leaders Stocksbridge in a tense and exciting Yorkshire Four match on Saturday.

The game sped from scrum to lineout to breakdown with intense pressure on both sides to gain and keep possession.

In the first half there was smooth passing from Joe Gallagher to get the ball away to Mark Heptonstall and good runs from Craig Heptonstall and David Dodd. Shaun Youell and Stephen Simpson displayed impressive tackling skills.

Both sides missed early penalties and 25 minutes had elapsed before Stocksbridge took the lead with a converted try.

Less than two minutes later it was 7-7, Jack Fairbank escoring a tremendous try, converted by Gallagher.

Halifax’s hard work up front paid off. With the support from the likes of Anthony Taylor, Dean Cotton, Sam Donohue and Luke Sturman, a rolling maul enabled second rower Tony Curtis to score and give the home men a 12-7 lead at half time.

The second half was just as pressured as the first and saw more missed opportunities for Halifax. Stocksbridge levelled with a try and although both sides took some hard knocks and looked tired in the last 10 minutes there was no let up in pace.

Halifax, for whom player-coach Mark Walton was man of the match, might have snatched it but had a try disallowed.