Second half improvement lays platform for victory

Halifax 56 Barrow 30

Fax produced a vastly-improved second half display to consign Barrow’s brave first half efforts to the memory bin.

Karl Harrison’s side were given a hard time in the first period as Barrow belied their lowly position and came out with all guns blazing.

However, Fax were a different animal after the break as they ran in tries almost at will.

Although Barrow were able to add to their tally late on, Fax’s advantage was never threatened.

Both sides entered the game with something to prove; Fax looking to make amends for the defeat at Featherstone with Barrow keen to put up a better showing than their Challenge Cup defeat two weeks ago,

Barrow looked the more determined at the start and didn’t take long to hit the front.

Liam Finch’s kick bobbled through the Fax defence and with nobody able to get a hand on it Finch followed up for the score, Kurt Haggerty adding the conversion.

Another Finch kick through brought another anxious moment soon after, but this time Fax were able to clear and launch an attack of their own.

The home side’s growing threat bore fruit when a kick into the corner eluded a Barrow player and the ball fell into Rikki Sheriffe’s hands and he had the simple job of planting it down. Steve Tyrer’s conversion was low and across the sticks.

Fax settled and started to make some yards, although the visitors still posed a threat in attack.

Anthony Thackeray embarked on a superb run which threatened to take him all the way before he was stopped by Barrow’s last line of defence and unfortunately coughed up the ball.

Fax continued to move through the gears and Scott Murrell attempted another chip to the corner but Dean McGilvray got under the ball but fumbled. From the enusing play the ball was switched to the left and Luke Adamson crashed over close to the posts leaving Tyrer with a more straightforward conversion

Dane Manning then put Sheriffe in but the try was ruled out for a foot in touch as Fax continued to enjoy the upper hand

Harrison clearly felt Fax would profit down the right as they launched a number of attacks down that side but Barrow defended doggedly.

In fact both sides put in some crunching tackles - that was until Fax missed a crucial one in centre field and Finch was able to break from halfway, draw his man then slip the ball to Liam Harrison who galloped in under the posts. Haggerty kicked the extras for a 12-10 lead.

The game continued to flow from end to end with Fax going over again when Paul Handforth collected on halfway and the Barrow defence opened up and he was allowed to race on before picking his pass to Ben Heaton who had an easy run in, Tyrer adding the conversion from in front for a 16-12 lead.

Barrow, however, hit straight back when Haggerty babozzled the home defence for a fine individual try which he also improved for an 18-16 half-time advantage.

Craig Ashall looked to have made a dream start to the second half but was held up before Lee Paterson did make an attack count, running in and behind the posts leaving Tyrer to do the rest for a 22-18 lead.

Whatver Harrison said at half time certainly worked as Scott Murrell blazed over for a superb individual score wide out, Tyrer narrowly off target with the conversion.

Then a massive bomb was fielded by Murrell and he slipped the ball to Tyrer who went over untouched then added the extras for 32-18.

It got even better when a mistake by Liam Harrison gifted Thackeray the ball and he roared in from halfway, Tyrer banging over the extras.

Further incisive play saw Paterson go over again in the corner as Barrow were bullied to the point of submission, Tyrer landing an excellent touchlime conversion.

Murrell was involved yet again when he put Ryan Fieldhouse in, Handforth’s conversion taking Fax to the half century of points.

Fax looked as though they could break through at will as they found several gears while Barrow were stuck in reverse

Harrison briefly interrupted the carnage with a run in from halfway, Haggerty landing a super conversion, but within minutes Tony Tonks was over at the other end, Handforth converting for a 56-24 lead.

Barrow did have the final say when Liam Campbell touched down, Haggerty converting, but Fax wwere good value for their success

Fax: Fieldhouse, Sheriffe, Tyrer, Paterson, Reittie, Murrell, Thackeray, Tonks, Handforth, Bracek, Manning, Divorty, Adamson. Subs: Ashall, Ambler, Heaton, Casey.

Barrow: Campbell, Clay, Low, Wiper, McGilvray, Finch, Casey, Butler, Danby, Brennan, Harrison, K Haggerty, Toal. Subs: Mossop, Dawson, M Haggarty, Jones.

Att: 1,577