Fax cut loose after the break to seal derby win

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Halifax unleashed a second half blitz as they eased to victory in Thursday night’s Championship derby against Keighley at the Shay.

Karl Harrison’s side ran out 38-6 winners after a merciless performance which saw them run in six tries in the second period.

Fax led just 6-4 at the break after a tense first 40 and were pegged back to 6-6 by a Danny Lawton penalty just after the restart.

But a rampaging touchdown from prop Tony Tonks sparked a four-try burst that ended the game as a contest.

With captain Scott Murrell imperious, Fax went back to back with scores from Adam Robinson and Luke Ambler, before Murrell romped over for one of his own.

That left the score at 28-6, with late touchdowns from Ross Divorty and Tommy Saxton sealing a dominant success.

Fax made the early running, but it was the Cougars who took the lead when hooker James Feather sauntered over on 15 minutes after a mix up between Saxton and Ryan Fieldhouse had gifted Keighley an attacking position.

Half back Paul Handforth surprisingly sent the conversion well wide, leaving the score at 4-0.

Fax took a few minutes to recover from that, but gradually found their feet again, helped by the introduction of young half back Ben Johnston from the bench.

Back rower Divorty and wing Peter Fox were both held short, before the Keighley defence finally cracked just past the half hour.

It was two front rowers who did the damage, the former Wigan junior Sam Brooks taking the ball to the line and slipping a super short pass to Jack Spencer, who rounded Keighley full back James Craven to score.

Murrell converted and the home side proceeded to dominate the rest of the half, with Fieldhouse being pulled back for a forward pass after Murrell slipped him clear.

But it remained 6-4 until half time. After that though, there was only one winner.

Halifax: Fieldhouse; Fox, Robinson, Casey, Saxton; Mennell, Murrell; Tonks, Kaye, Ambler, Adamson, Divorty, Bracek. Subs: Holden, Johnston, Brooks, Spencer

Keighley: Craven; Barnett, Lawton, Haley, Williams; White, Handforth; Rawlins, Feather, Hesketh, Lynam, Pursglove, Lindsay. Subs: Sheriffe, Sagar, Shickell, Haigh

Referee: C. Kendall