Halifax 38 Leeds Corinthians 25
Halifax expolited near perfect conditions at Ovenden Park as they relieved some of the pressure imposed by their league position in Yorkshire Four with a well-earned victory.
After a slow start fly half Joe Gallagher fed inside centre Gareth Metcalfe with a short ball from a scrum. The defence crumbled and Dean Cotton was on hand to plunge over, Gallagher adding an easy conversion.
Corinthians were lively and Halifax had some anxious moments, the visitors intercepting and going over only to be brought back for a knock on.
Halifax also began to offend and conceded two penalty goals while another attempt hit the post.
However, the hosts continued to show thelr potential in attack with the midfield trio of Gallagher, Metcalfe and Michael Perrett showing plenty of fluency.
After 20 minutes Gallagher’s long kick deep into Corinthians territory resulted in the full back being caught in possession by Academy player Elliot Hoyle and Metcalfe. Corinthians offended and from the quick free kick for not retreating 10 metres, Ian Morriss weaved over.
Halifax were on top for the remainder of the half with Perrett making some telling breaks, newcomer Ben Mather looking strong up front, Sturman ruling the line out, Tony Curtis leading by example and Nick O’ Connor, at full bac,k demonstrating his experience.
The third try arrived when a series of rucks took the three quarters to the right and with Gallagher orchestrating affairs well, the ball went back left where Metcalfe fed Steve Jones for a converted try.
A handling error on the restart set up the visitors in the home half and sloppy play at the front of the lineout led to Corinthians’ No. 8 nipping round the front, stealing the ball and galloping over unopposed.
This setback produced a sound period of play by Halifax as they set up camp on the visitors line.
Sturman continued his lineout success and Halifax prospered with Curtis powering over, Gallagher’s conversion making it 26—11. Two minutes later O’Connor and Curtis combined to get within 10 metres of the line from where John Greenwood picked up smartly to score.
Halifax were well on top and for the last 10 minutes became a little cavalier allowing the opposition to score two converted tries
Halifax had two players yellow carded after which Curtis came into possession on the halfway line. He made a break of some 50 metres before becoming embroiled in a maul and then appearing out of the other side to power over for the final try.