Halifax remain positive after Pythons reverse

Halifax will take the positives from a spirited display as they lost 41-15 to title-chasing Harrogate Pythons in Yorkshire Four.

Halifax had been hit by a late injury crisis forcing coach Mark Walton to rejig his line up at the 11th hour.

However the Ovenden Park club were leading 8-3 after 38 minutes and were frustrating their hosts. The forwards were holding the bigger Pythons pack at bay, while the backs were finally showing signs of gelling.

Dean Cotton had powered over for a try while Nick Bell slotted over a long-range penalty.

Harrogate, though, went into the break 10-8 in front after scoring just before the interval - while a try immediately at the start of the second half took the wind out of Halifax’s sails.

Harrogate’s well-drilled pack were able to take control playing down the slope, while the decision to move the vastly experienced Gareth Drane to scrum-half paid dividends.

A flurry of tries, coupled with injuries to the impressive Ben Maxwell, Luke Sturman and Shaun Youell left Halifax on the ropes.

However the visitors finished the game on a high and were rewarded with a try through Jim Palfrey-Smith. Bell converted.

Halifax take a break from league action this week with a friendly against the Bumble Bees Barbarians, a side committed to ‘providing inclusive rugby union without boundaries to adults of all abilities’, on Wednesday night and a Yorkshire Silver Trophy clash against Old Grovians on Saturday.