Halifax harbour top table ambition

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Halifax will make a play for the joint leadership of Yorkshire Four when they travel to Old Otliensians tomorrow.

The Wharfedale club, unbeaten in league rugby this season, currently boast a five point lead over Halifax and fellow promotion chasers Stocksbridge, who are locked together on 37 points.

Mark Walton’s side, 26-12 victors over Mosborough last weekend, could draw level with a bonus-point win tomorrow, although captain Dwaine West was keen to emphasise the size of their task.

“It’s a big ask for us to get any kind of a win over there,” he said.

“They’re a top side and that’s reflected in the fact they’re unbeaten this season.

“I think we can more than match them up front, it will be down to how our backs cope with their backs.

“They’ve been taking teams apart and I think it will be quite a high scoring, entertaining game.

“It should be a cracker.”

Halifax, who should have the former Halifax RL player Gareth Matthews available again after injury, needed all their resolve last weekend after a slow start left them trailing Mosborough 12-0 at the break.

“We just didn’t get out of the blocks at all,” said West.

“But it says a lot about the character in the side that we came out after half time and put on a performance.

“It was the classic game of two halves in the end.

“We know we can’t afford to start like that tomorrow though.”

Heath host second-from-bottom Keighley in Yorkshire One tomorrow in a fixture coach Kevin Plant admits his side have targeted as they look to maintain a substantial gap between themselves and the relegation places.

The West Vale side are 10th out of 14 clubs after last weekend’s 43-20 loss at Doncaster Phoenix, a defeat which was briefly illuminated by a solo score from Heath’s young back Peter Birkett.

Plant, whose side have already won at Keighley this season, is keen to maintain the status quo.

“We’re still in the same position, with that nine point gap to Keighley,” he said.

“But we have targeted certain games we need to win to avoid being drawn into anything like a relegation fight and this is certainly one of them.”

The North Dean men competed well for long periods last week and led 13-5 but were hit by a Doncaster onslaught either side of half time.