Leigh debacle a turning point

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KARL Harrison believes his team’s pre-season caning at Leigh represented an early turning point in his Shay reign ahead of tonight’s Co-operative Championship rematch between the two sides.

Fax were hammered 44-14 at the Leigh Sports Village in January, when Leigh - coached by Harrison’s former Fax teammate Paul Rowley - ran riot.

And Harrison admitted it had prompted a now notorious Monday night training session 24 hours later.

“I am not the greatest loser in the world and when we were beaten like that we felt we needed to send a message to the players pretty quickly; that me and the rest of the staff were not here to muck around,” he said.

“I think it was a big reality check for us and, if I’m being honest, probably a bit of a turning point.

“We’d had a heavy week the week before and we treated that game as a friendly, whereas Leigh looked like a team that really wanted a result.

“But we were not at the races at all that day, and I think perhaps some people in the team thought we were better than we actually were.

“Having said that, that was January and this is April.

“I’d like to think we’ve gone away and improved since then and the structures we have are a lot more solid than they were that day.”

Harrison has named a 20-man squad for tonight’s game, with all the players rested for last weekend’s Challenge Cup win over South Wales Scorpions making the initial selection.

The big decisions will again come on the wings - where Wayne Reittie, Lee Paterson and Paul White are chasing two places, with Rob Worrincy again omitted - and on the bench, where Sean Hesketh and Sam Barlow look like duelling for the final spot.

“There are some tough decisions to make, across the park,” said Harrison.

Match preview - page 33

HALIFAX have announced reduced ticket prices and subsidised coach travel for their fifth round Carnegie Challenge Cup clash at Leigh on Sunday, April 29, which has been confirmed as a 2pm kick off at the LSV.

Supporters will be able to travel across the Pennines for only £5, with the prices of adult seating cut from £18 to £15 and adult standing reduced from £15 to £13. Concessions are £8, with children aged 12-16 £5 and children under 12 £1. Junior season ticket holders will get free admission.

The first batch of tickets will be on pre-sale before tonight’s game at the Shay from 6.30pm and for an hour after the final whistle.

LAST night’s under 23 fixture between Halifax and York, which had been scheduled for the Shay, was postponed due to the weather.