Halifax make Grovians battle for victory

Halifax 6 Old Grovians 41

Halifax produced a spirited performance in defeat against a good Old Grovians side flying high in Yorkshire Four,

Halifax caused their opponents some frustration, at least for the first half an hour during which they got amongt them with keen tackling and good closing down.

The hosts also applied pressure which told significantly with an 11-4 penalty count in their favour in the first half as the visitor’s handling was put under close examination.

Halifax opened the scoring in the third minute when Grovians offended in the ruck in front of the posts and Joe Gallagher confidently kicked the penalty. However, that was matched after 20 minutes following a Halifax high tackle.

It took Grovians 30 minutes to register their first converted try after a prolonged period of territorial supremacy but Halifax were effective up front where they generally achieved parity in the set pieces and were able to make good ground when picking and driving.

However, their haste to drive forward led to them losing the ball, a fault shown towards the end of the first half when they were hammering on the Grovians line with noticeable strong work from Michael Perrett, Luke Sturman and Ian Morriss.

The Grovians defence was good but a little more patience might have produced a reward but instead the ball was lost and in a quick strike Grovians broke out from their own line to score and, with a try five minutes earlier, opened up a 20-3 lead at the break.

Halifax were again lively after the restart with full back Heppenstall leading the way before Grovians offended under the pressure and Gallagher added three more points from the penalty.

Grovians were still showing signs of anxiety with suspect handling, but as the second half wore on and Halifax tired the visiting backs showed their competence with three well taken tries.

Sean Youell, who was having a prominent game at prop for Halifax, sustained a knee injury and left the field, but the home side maintained a good profile up front and set up camp on the opposition line, recycling the ball well but Grovians’ well-organised defence held out.