Halifax sink the champs

Craig Heppenstall scored Halifax's final try
Craig Heppenstall scored Halifax's final try

Halifax inflicted only a second defeat of the season on Yorkshire Four champions Old Otliensians with a 24-16 victory at Ovenden Park on Saturday.

Craig Heppenstall’s try in the last 10 minutes clinched victory for the fifth-placed home side, who were avenge a 34-0 defeat at Chaffers Fields in December,

Otliensians scored the opening try in what was the sides’ penultimate league game of the season.

However, a tremendous driving maul from the home pack helped Luke Sturman surge over the line to make it 5-5.

Play was tough and possession shared, Otliensians edging ahead with a penalty midway through the half.

Halifax responded with slick passing, spirited runs and good teamwork but the visitors stood firm until Elliot Mercer powered over in the corner to give his side a 10-8 lead.

The home side dominated play after the break. Niall McSharry sprinted down the wing and went over in the corner, Heppenstall converting.

With the score at 17-8, Otliensians tried to make a comeback. The Halifax forwards tackled well but a penalty and then a try meant the gap was down to one point.

The game was on a knife edge but Heppenstall strode through and planted the ball behind the posts for the four-try bonus point, the scorer converting.