Second half improvement earns victory

Halifax 18, Ossett 11

Halifax produced a stirring second half display to edge the verdict in a well-contested Yorkshire Four clash.

The visitors took the game to the hosts from the start and converted two penalties within the first 10 minutes. Those lapses were the result of poor discipline by Halifax who continued to offend the referee at regular intervals and thereby lost any hard won ground as well as increasing the pressure on themselves.

Halifax were a clear second best, but redeemed themselves with some excellent defensive work. Ossett were first to the ball and once there were more decisive in either retention or turnover.

Ossett had plenty of possession but could not convert it into scores and Halifax began to prosper. As half time approached Halifax were pressing and captain Dwain West thought that he had scored in the corner before Toby Turner converted a penalty to reduce the arrears to 6-3 at the break.

The second half saw Halifax improve in both aggression and competence. Ossett were not the force they had been and slowly the home side gained the upper hand.

Not before, however, Ossett had increased the lead with good possession football to the right and then switching where Halifax, missing the yellow carded West, ran out of defenders.

More effort was called for and Karl Copeland on the wing did well to win the ball back from the kick off. Clive Smith drove on and Joe Gallagher’s free kick put Halifax in an immediate strong attacking position. The lineout was won and a controlled drive saw Tony Curtis touch down on the left.

By this stage fortunes up front had changed. Luke Sturman began to have a storming game while Mark Walton was also making a nuisance of himself.

The Halifax backs tarted to run free and the combined efforts of Sturman, Gallagher and Stephen Simpson allowed Turner to score a tremendous try.

Halifax were in front for the first time and when Ossett dropped the ball Walton picked up, Warne went close and prop Sean Youell was able to profit from close range to register a very heartening victory.