Rugby union: Battling success boosts Clarke's men

Marist 7 Halifax 12

Halifax gave themselves and new coach Ian Clarke a massive morale booster with a Yorkshire Four victory at Hull.

It could not be described as an attractive win but will lift spirits and raise hopes that the Ovenden Park men can improve their lowly league position.

Halifax were the superior team throughout. However, they lost possession in contact time and again. Those first at the break down failed to take the initiative and often the ball carrier tried to go too far or lacked support.

The threequarters were keen to throw the ball about and this produced the first clear chance on 12 minutes as John Robertson was unleashed on the left. He was tackled just short.

Sam Lukonde was making his presence well felt in his new position of back row.

Halifax were demolishing Marist in the scrum but fell behind following one, Marist rolling the ball from the base, the outside half fly hacked it over the line and the chase produced a converted try.

There was nearly a disastrous repeat moments later but Halifax were much further up field and were given a little more time to defend. Dwayne West, who had his best game for the club so far, led the chase to kick dead.

Halifax produced a marked improvement in a second half blighted for stoppages due to ill-discipline.

Niggly incidents began to creep in and after 50 minutes. The captains were summoned and general warning issued on at least six occasions. Marist had one man sent off and two yellow carded.

On 55 minutes strong work by Phil Marrion resulted in some smart handling by the backs . West made good ground to the left and Craig Emmerson made the telling break for Lukonde to score close in. Toby Turner converted to put the teams level.

Five minutes later there was a repeat thrust to the Marist right as Ben Ogden, who had a fine game in the line and loose, snapped the ball up at the base of a ruck and Craig Emmerson gave Deacon on the left wing a run in.

Halifax did not relax with help from the mature promptings of Darren Emmerson and the continuing strong and direct play of Tony Curtis, Lukonde and Ogden.