Halifax progress gathers pace

Wetherby 19 Halifax 22

Halifax’s recent determined performances in Yorkshire Four finally paid dividends as they continued their “work in progress” with a tidy win.

Having the benefit of the slope in the first half, Halifax pressed home their advantage aided by some tentative play by the opposition.

Glen Warne went close after five minutes and, with better support, Halifax would have scored.

The pressure continued and the reward came in the 11th minute when Martin Barnes charged an attempted clearing kick and dived on the loose ball to register his first try for the club, Joe Gallagher converting.

Barnes combined well soon after with Stephen Simpson and Gallagher to go close and as the ensuing ruck was won, Gallagher chipped over and the hack on by Simpson brought another unconverted try.

Wetherby began to improve and Halifax were forced onto the back foot. A lineout was won on the Halifax right but the relieving kick enabled Wetherby to engage their sharp three quarters and effective handling saw them score a converted try out wide.

The hosts were now beginning to dominate, helped by some uncommitted tackling, and only a forward pass saved Halifax from conceding another score.

Relief was at hand however when, shortly before half time and after a fine clearing kick by Nick Bell, Ben Maxwell snapped up a loose ball at the back of the lineout and raced 60 metres to make it 19-7 at the break.

Halifax’s euphoria was short-lived as straight from the kick off, sloppy tackling let Wetherby break through midfield for a converted try.

Penalties began to be conceded as possession was contested. Wetherby put a free kick into touch close in on the Halifax right and although the visitors won the lineout the ball was lost and their wily scrum half fed a prop close in for a converted try to level the scores.

Halifax then dominated and the winning score came midway through the half, Gallagher converting a penalty award.