Halifax left shattered after ‘Showdown Sunday’ defeat

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Halifax 4 Featherstone 20

It was billed as the £250,000 game – and Halifax were left counting the cost rather than the cash after being blown away in the opening 20 minutes.

Featherstone had a firm grip on the points – and second spot in the Championship - after scoring four tries in the opening 22 minutes and they controlled the game after that.

It could hardly have started any worse for Fax as Andy Kain forced them to drop out from under their own posts after a couple of minutes.

And Featherstone capitalised with Jason Crookes crashing over in the corner soon after.

Fax, playing into the teeth of the wind, tried to respond but back to back sets close to the Rovers line came to nothing.

And Crookes increased the visitors’ advantage on 14 minutes when Ian Hardman tapped back Andy Kain’s kick and the winger dived over.

It got even worse three minutes later when Sean Pick stretched out an arm to increase Featherstone’s advantage which, with Gareth Moore’s conversion, was 14-0.

And they were a further six points up just past the midway point of the half when Crookes completed his hat-trick ad Moore tagged on his second conversion.

Tommy Saxton prevented further pain when he hammered a Kain kick over the deadball line as Fax continued to toil.

There were signs that Karl Harrison’s side would be able to launch a fightback in the closing minutes of the first half.

Luke Ambler was held a yard short of the line in the 34th minute and Ryan Fieldhouse collected a Scott Murrell pass but was unable to find Saxton outside him.

And they knew they had to get the first points after the break but struggled to break the Rovers defence down.

They did manage to force a couple of goalline drop outs but too many balls went to ground and they had to wait until the 59th minute for their first score.

Ryan Fieldhouse picked off an Andy Bostock pass and raced away with Saxton in support. He fed Ben Johnston who did the rest but Steve Tyrer was unable to convert.

Featherstone almost rubbed salt into the wounds late on but Fax managed to hold up Hardman over the line.

Halifax: Fieldhouse; Potts, Cowling, Tyrer, Saxton; Murrell, Brown; Tonks, Kaye, Ambler, Adamson, Divorty, Bracek. Substitutes: Mennell, Johnston, Casey, Spencer

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Sharp, Blackmore, Crookes; Kain, Moore; Crossley, Ellis, Bussey, Annakin, Pick, Lockwood. Substitutes: James, Hirst, Bostock, Teasdale.

Referee: George Stokes