Poor second half leads to Halifax’s downfall

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Halifax 12 Mosbrough 48

Before the game both sides and all spectators observed a minute’s silence in memory of Terry Higgins, a Halifax club stalwart and a high class Halifax and Yorkshire wing three quarter, who passed away on April 18.

With their Yorkshire Four position secured for next season, Halifax were keen to test their opposition from South Yorkshire. That intent was soon put into operation as the backs pressed early.

Mosbrough gave away a free kick and from some strong forward pressure second row Ben Mathers drove over for a try.

It did not take fourth-placed Mosbrough long to hit back, the full back collecting a chip over then helped by some defensive errors to open up a 7-5 lead.

Halifax continued to threaten, Gareth Matthews and Stephen Simpson combining with Barnes to go close on the left, but soon after fullback Toby Turner failed to gather a kick through enabling Mosbrough to score again for a 12-5 advantage,

Halifax were making a good fist of things and their visitors knew they had a game on their hands. Up front captain for the day, Luke Sturman, was having a commanding time in the lineout while he and lock Clive Smith were making a good impression in the loose.

As the first half drew to a close Halifax were on top with some strong forward play, command of the lineout and sound scrummaging, albeit hampered by an injury to hooker Aitchison. Their reward was a converted try from Craig Heppenstall as the hosts drew level at the break.

The second half was a great disappointment for Halifax as Mosbrough steadily advanced their tally. Their drive dropped away and that aspect was magnified by some inept play as they variously, dropped the ball, half applied themselves to tackles and kicked aimlessly.

There were some encouraging moments from Sturman with a 60 metre charge down the left touch line, and from hooker Cameron Aitchison and Mathers with assaults on the line.

Eighteen year old Sam Donoghue put in a good shift while Glen Warne also grafted consistently throughout.

Turner also made amends for his earlier lapse with a cracking try saving tackle on Mosbrough’s flying left winger, but their irresistible march forward continued.