Brilliant, brave Fax up to third after winning at Odsal
Halifax moved up to third in the Championship after securing their fourth successive win over Bradford Bulls with a 32-24 win at Odsal.
Richard Marshall’s side took full advantage of Featherstone’s loss at Sheffield on Friday, leading 12-6 at the break and then sealing the win with a classy second half performance that saw them lead by a dominant 32-12 with two minutes remaining.
And they did it with 15 players after losing centre Ben Heaton in the third minute and back rower Matt Sarsfield early in the second half.
The game had barely begun when Heaton was hurt in a collision on the right and play was halted for 13 minutes as the player received treatment before being transferred to a spinal board, then an ambulance.
Understandably, the Bulls seemed to cope with the delay better than their visitors, Kieren Moss scoring after a Paul Clough offload, Danny Addy converting for a 6-0 lead.
They were almost in again moments later, Moss again the dangerman, and dominated the first quarter, winning penalty after penalty as their visitors struggled to find the pace of the game.
But when Halifax did secure some possession, they made it count, Cook Islander Adam Tangata romping over after half backs Gareth Moore and Scott Murrell had carved the Bulls defence open.
Steve Tyrer converted for a 6-6 scoreline after 20 minutes and Halifax almost grabbed a second minutes later; Murrell having a score chalked off for obstruction and winger Will Sharp being halted inches short on the left.
They grabbed the advantage going into half time though, Moore running at the line and Murrell backing up to score, Tyrer’s kick making it 12-6.
Bradford began the second half brightly, but fell further behind when some neat passing put James Saltonstall over in the corner, Tyrer’s conversion falling just short, leaving the score at 16-6.
The Bulls responded within three minutes, Kurt Haggerty twisting over and Addy converting against a Halifax side down to 15 fit players after Matt Sarsfield limped off.
The visitors gave themselves some breathing space again with 20 minutes remaining though, Moss dropping the ball not once but twice behind his line and Jacob Fairbank pouncing for a try that Tyrer converted for a 22-12 lead.
Tyrer crashed over with 10 minutes remaining, Moore’s floated pass giving him the space to get round Moss, although his conversion went wide, leaving the score at 26-12.
Ed Barber then sealed a victory with a try in the right corner, Tyrer converting, although Welham’s late score, goaled by Addy, gave Bradford a last word they hardly deserved.
Bradford: Moss; Clare, Welham, Blythe, Ryan; Addy, Charnock; Clough, O’Brien, Sidlow, Mellor, Haggerty, Pitts. Subs: Crossley, Kavanagh, Philbin, Howarth
Halifax: Johnston; Sharp, Heaton, Tyrer, Saltonstall; Moore, Murrell; Cahalane, Kaye, Tangata, Grix, Sarsfield, Fairbank. Subs: Ambler, Robinson, Barber, Boyle
Referee: Chris Kendall