Halifax in command after flying start

Joe Gallagher was prominent for Halifax
Joe Gallagher was prominent for Halifax

Halifax ran out convincing 37-10 winners over Hessle in Yorkshire Four at Ovenden Park yesterday, completing a double over never say die and hard working opponents.

Hessle were relegated from Yorkshire Three last season and are having a torrid time.

Halifax were quick to exploit their frailties with tries in the second and seventh minutes for David Dodds and Craig Heppenstall respectively, the latter converted by Joe Gallagher who had distributed the ball beautifully to set up the score.

Offside by Halifax at a ruck led to Hessle’s only score in the first half – a penalty.

This was matched and then exceeded as Gallagher put over two penalties in the 19th and 31st minutes.

Halifax’s tackling was safe and the visitors made little progress whereas Halifax grew in confidence and were ready and able to throw the ball around.

The young Halifax back row of Luke Sturman, Ranchi Mercer and Ben Maxwell - a former Yorkshire Colt back from Pleasant Point RUFC in New Zealand - revelled in the open play.

But for a foot in touch by Craig Heppenstall, the combined play of Sturman, Mercer and Gallagher would have led to a try.

Late in the half Mercer was again prominent in getting Dodds over for his second try, converted from the touch line by Gallagher.

Halifax started the second half in attacking style.

After six minutes Gallagher threw a long pass and his outside backs handled well over half the field, resulting in Jack Fairbank earning Halifax a bonus point with the fourth try.

Seven minutes later Halifax went further ahead with a splendidly worked try from deep in their own half, Maxwell touching down and Gallagher converting.

Hessle came more into the game, handling better and being stronger in the ruck. A prolonged stay in the home half led to a good, converted try.

Victory came at a cost with skipper Dwaine West and powerful centre Benn both needing hospital attention - a worry for next week’s top of the table fixture at Stocksbridge.