Fax are crushed as Rovers triumph at the Shay

Callum Casey
Callum Casey

Halifax’s Championship title hopes suffered what may prove to be a fatal blow after they were comprehensively outplayed by Featherstone at the Shay.

Rovers ran out 30-16 winners, replicating the crushing superiority they had demonstrated at Post Office Road earlier in the year, despite the relatively modest scoreline.

Fax, without skipper Scott Murrell, whose attempts to play with a painkilling injection in his broken hand proved futile, lacked intensity from the start and became more and more rudderless as the game went on.

The first half was almost exclusively a tale of woe, as Rovers dominated every aspect of the contest to a degree that probably didn’t even feature in coach Ryan Sheridan’s wildest dreams.

They scored inside the opening minute when Tim Spears pounced on a Steve Tyrer error to touchdown under the posts, Liam Finn kicking them 6-0 ahead.

An Andy Kain try followed, before Tom Saxton dived in at the corner after 20 minutes as the home side’s defensive game completely fell apart.

It might have been worse too, with Rob Worrincy saving a certain try with a tackle on Ian Hardman over the line.

Fax finally got on the scoreboard after 35 minutes when an improvised bomb from Adam Robinson set up Wayne Reittie.

Tyrer missed the conversion, but a 16-4 deficit was hugely generous given what had occured previously.

The second half was little better; Finn added an early penalty before Kain and back rower James Lockwood both touched down to push the score out to 30-4 with a little under half an hour remaining.

Halifax scored twice in the closing minutes through full back Ryan Fieldhouse, giving the scoreline a veneer of respectability, but it was hardly enough to mask the severity of this defeat.

Halifax: Fieldhouse; Worrincy, Tyrer, Heaton, Reittie; Handforth, Thackeray; Tonks, C. Ashall, Bracek, Manning, Divorty, Adamson. Subs: K. Ashall, Ambler, Robinson, Casey

Featherstone: Hardman; Sharp, Mellors, Worthington, Saxton; Kain, Finn; Crossley, Kaye, James, Lockwood, Spears, Dale. Subs: Ellis, Bussey, Bryan, Bostock

Referee: Dave Merrick