Johnston’s late try clinches crucial win for Fax

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Halifax’s chances of securing a top four Championship finish were boosted after they clinched a last gasp 14-8 win at mid-table Hunslet.

Richard Marshall’s side, winners at Featherstone last weekend, trailed 8-6 for most of the second half against a determined Hawks outfit.

But a Ben Johnston try five minutes from time and a conversion and late penalty from Steve Tyrer finally wrapped up a crucial win.

The Hawks dominated territory for the opening 15 minutes, although their breakthrough ironically came just as their visitors were on the attack for the first time.

Halifax full back James Saltonstall’s pass was picked off by Richie Barnett 20 metres from his own line and the winger raced away to score what turned out to be the only try of the half.

Half back Jordan Lilley landed the conversion, but it was Halifax who looked the more threatening as the half wore on.

Clean breaks from Mitch Cahalane, Tyrer and James Saltonstall all went unrewarded as a combination of the Hawks’ scrambling defence and the visitors’ own impatience saw the sides go to the break with the game poised at 6-0.

Halifax made the perfect start to the second half, going from one end of the field to the other and scoring through Dane Manning, Tyrer’s conversion levelling at 6-6.

Hunslet promptly retook the lead when the visitors were penalised for obstruction, Lilley making it 8-6 with the boot.

The rest of the half was an attritional affair, Halifax again making more line breaks - through the Australian Mitch Cahalane and Wales forward Ross Divorty - without managing to escape the clutches of a desperate Hunslet defence.

But when Tyrer broke clear down the left, Johnston was in support for the winning touchdown.

Hunslet: Watson; Barnett, Briscoe, Maun, Finigan; Lilley, Kain; Haley, Lee, Houston, Casey, Backhouse, Mackay. Subs: Ward, Mulhern, Lyons, Trout

Halifax: Saltonstall; Potts, Eccleston, Tyrer, Saxton; Murrell, Johnston; Tangata, Kaye, Cahalane, Divorty, Manning, Moore. Subs: Bracek, Dickinson, Barber, Robinson