Fax destined for Championship Shield as London win at the Shay

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Halifax brought the curtain down on the weekly rounds of the Championship season with a chronically untidy 41-22 defeat by London Broncos at the Shay.

Halifax went into the game knowing only a win against the Broncos, who were already assured of their place in the Super 8s Qualifiers, and an unlikely win for Swinton against Batley, could salvage their top four hopes.

In the end, neither of those eventualities occured, leaving Richard Marshall’s side to concentrate on the Championship Shield when the fixtures are announced on Wednesday morning.

They began brightly, and took the lead when the full back Ben Johnston backed up a midfield break from Scott Murrell and Jacob Fairbank to touch down under the posts.

Half back Gareth Moore kicked the conversion, but in a game that lacked any real intensity the Broncos were level on quarter time when the former Sheffield prop Eddie Battye touched down on the right.

Jamie Soward, the Australian stand off, landed the conversion and was on target again 10 minutes later when Battye scored a virtual carbon copy of his first try to move the visitors 12-6 ahead.

The home side continued to press, and manufactured a series of half chances, but were hit by a sucker punch just before the break when Soward, who is expected to be in Super League next season, slipped second rower Matt Garside over through a crowded defence on the London left.

The conversion drifted wide, leaving London leading 16-6 at the interval, an advantage they extended five minutes into the second half when Soward dived over in the right corner and kicked the conversion for a 22-6 lead.

Halifax replied with a Will Sharp try, engineered by Johnston, and then proceeded to level matters in short order with two powerfully taken tries from makeshift centre Ed Barber, converted by Moore.

London regained the lead with an equally punchy Mark Loane touchdown, Api Pewhairangi adding the goal to put them 28-22 ahead, although the home side had what looked like a fine try for Sharp ruled out by the touch judge.

That moment proved decisive, London stretching their lead with a Soward drop goal before prop Nick Slyney and substitute Sadiq Adebiyi’s late tries sealed their success.

Halifax: Johnston; Sharp, Heaton, Eccleston, Saltonstall; G. Moore, Murrell; Cahalane, Robinson, Ambler, Barber, Tangata, Fairbank. Subs: Kaye, R. Moore, Bennion, Boyle

London: Walker; Williams, Kear, Eliab, Macani; Pewhairangi, Soward; Loane, Ackers, Bustin, Harrison, Garside, Slyney. Subs: Cunningham, Battye, Magrin, Adebiyi

Referee: Gareth Hewer