Fax through to fifth round after grinding past Hunslet

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Halifax moved into the fifth round of the Challenge Cup with an untidy but convincing 20-6 win over League 1 visitors Hunslet at the Shay.

In appalling conditions, that deteriorated as the error-strewn contest went on, a much changed home side led 12-0 at the break and 14-0 inside the last 10 minutes before the Hawks scored a late consolation.

For Fax, who rested a handful of key players before next weekend’s Championship trip to title favourites Hull KR, the end justified the means, with a place in the next round never really looking at risk against James Coyle’s team.

Halifax had a scoring chance inside two minutes, makeshift winger Chester Butler being shovelled into touch as he made for the corner.

But having not taken that opportunity, they did take their next, back rower Ed Barber, back in the side after knee problems, driving hard for the line on the right after a nice offload from Australian prop Mitch Cahalane.

Centre Steve Tyrer’s conversion drifted just wide and the game descended into a litany of penalties and handling errors, from both sides.

Halifax who never really looked in danger of conceding, but weren’t exactly pin sharp in attack either, finally added to their tally on 25 minutes, Gareth Moore hoisting a long, low cross kick to the right, where Butler claimed it for the try.

This time Tyrer was on target from the sideline and the centre stretched the home side’s lead to 12-0 with a 50 metre penalty on the final play of an unremarkable half.

The second half was equally unspectacular, although Hunslet did produce their first real moment of attacking threat when Joe Sanderson sent Liam Mackay through, only for the cover to converge a metre from the line.

Fax added to their lead almost immediately, Tyrer tapping over a second penalty for a 14-0 lead that, even with 20 minutes to go, looked decisive.

Hunslet finally scored with eight minutes to go through winger Ryan Ince, Daniel Ansell converting, but Fax replied almost immediately, Rob Worrincy touching down in the corner and Tyrer adding the goal.

Halifax: Sharp; Butler, Tyrer, Woodburn-Hall, Worrincy; Johnston, Moore; Tangata, Kaye, Cahalane, Grady, Barber, Morris. Subs: Nelmes, Ambler, Mammone, Cullimore

Hunslet: Watson; Ince, Wilson, Mvududu, Webb; Gibson, Ansell; Hesketh, Lee, Carbutt, Walton, Normington, Mackay. Subs: Flanagan, Sanderson, Flynn, Kenga

Referee: T. Grant