Clinical Fax put sorry Rovers to the sword in 10-try romp

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Featherstone Rovers 12

Halifax 60

RUTHLESS Fax blitzed Co-operative Championship rivals Featherstone as they ran in 10 tries at Post Office Road - three of them in the first half to second row Ross Divorty against his former club.

The contest was as one-sided as the scoreline suggests with Lee Paterson cementing his role as first choice kicker with a flawless display which bagged him a personal tally of 20 points.

And that all came after the hosts had produced a solid first set which kept Fax pinned back then followed that up by scoring an early try when prop Micky Haley used his strength and pace to burst through a pack of players to touch down by the posts for Liam Finn to convert.

However, after that it was largely one-way traffic as Fax got hold of the game by the scruff of the neck and ran shell-shocked Rovers ragged.

The visitors were back on terms when Ryan Fieldhouse was impeded in front of the posts and the visitors worked the ball well before Adam Robinson was presented with the chance to burst through, Lee Paterson adding the goal.

It got even better five minutes later when Sean Penkywicz was allowed far too much room to work the ball and bring Craig Ashall into play and he powered in under the posts leaving Paterson with a simple kick.

Rovers were thrown right out of their stride and an increasingly confident Fax could even afford a bit of fortune as Divorty juggled the ball in his own 40 metres, which wrong-footed his Featherstone opponent, and he raced to the line, superbly using the supporting Steve Tyrer as a foil before stepping up a gear to motor over, Paterson obliging with the kick.

The visitors took a breather and suffered as a result as Rovers hit back, Finn dummying well before bringing loose forward Matty Dale into the action and he went in out wide leaving Finn to execute an excellent kick from wide out to reduce the arrears to 18-12.

Fax found their second wind and normal service was resumed when Anthony Thackeray produced a fine kick across the face of the posts and Divorty span out of a tackle before stretching to touch down.

And the loose forward made it a hat-trick soon after, pushing the advantage out to 30-12, Paterson goalling both.

Fax did not want the half to end as they capped a dominant 40 minutes with Handforth breaking tackles at will before planting the ball down, Paterson obliging with the boot.

If Rovers thought it would get easier after the break they were sadly mistaken.

They wasted an early chance when Finn hit the ball at pace but ran into a brick wall and lost possession. Fax were swift to pick up the pieces and quick hands involving Dane Manning and Paterson released Thackeray for a run to the line, Paterson having the simple task of adding the extras.

The hosts, who were rapidly running out of options, made life difficult for themselves when they coughed up possession on the Fax line and Rob Worrincy ran the length of the pitch to score under the posts for Paterson to stroke over the goal.

There was almost a sense of disappointment as the game entered a period of stalemate with Featherstone enjoying more possession but without really hurting Fax, Wayne Reittie superbly thwarting Kyle Briggs’s attempted chip to the corner.

It was business as usual 10 minutes from time, though, Sean Penkywicz and Luke Ambler combining well to put Adam Robinson through with Paterson adding the extras.

There was an ironic cheer when Robinson then fumbled the ball five minutes later - that representing Fax’s first mistake of the match.

And although Andy Kain was hauled down short as he looked to give the hosts a further boost on the scoreboard, Fax hit them with another excellent passage of play involving Callum Casey, Thackeray and Tyrer which allowed Reittie to score in the corner, Paterson ending the contest with a superb kick from the touchline.