Sheriffe’s score settles it for Halifax

Rikki Sheriffe
Rikki Sheriffe

A second half Rikki Sheriffe touchdown secured Halifax three crucial Championship points as they downed York 18-16 at the Shay.

Sheriffe, playing his first game for more than two months after an ankle problem, claimed a crosskick from returning captain Scott Murrell to level the scores at 16-16, full back Lee Paterson landing the conversion that gave Fax a two point lead.

On a day when Fax, coming off a weekend off and playing their first game since a morale-sapping home loss to Featherstone, were never at their very best, it proved to be a decisive margin.

Fax, who play at Leigh on Wednesday night (7.30) before a trip to Barrow on Sunday, remain in the hunt for a crucial top two finish after leaders Rovers were stunned at lowly Swinton.

Earlier, Fax had taken the lead with an Andy Bracek try, created by hooker Paul Handforth and converted by Paterson, before York levelled through hooker Jack Lee’s try and Tom Carr’s conversion.

With the home side lacking intensity and confidence in defence and attack, the Knights went further ahead when centre Jack Latus scored to give them a 10-6 lead.

A Craig Ashall touchdown, converted by Paterson, put Fax 12-10 ahead at the break, only for York stand off Ben Johnston to score the try of the match three minutes after the restart, Carr giving the Knights a 16-12 advantage.

But Fax finally came to life in the final half hour, Sheriffe’s score making the difference, although Carr missed a 73rd-minute penalty that would have put the Knights level.

Halifax: Paterson; Worrincy, Sheriffe, Heaton, Reittie; Murrell, Thackeray; Ambler, Handforth, Bracek, Manning, Divorty, C. Ashall. Subs: Tonks, K. Ashall, Adamson, Casey

York: Carr; Elliott, S. Latus, J. Latus, Browne; Johnston, Presley; Potter, Lee, Aldous, Scott, Mallinder, Picketts. Subs: Brining, Lyons, Bell, Stenchion

Referee: George Stokes

Attendance: 1,722