Halifax Panthers' 11 men hold on to claim victory at Barrow Raiders

Halifax Panthers pulled off their finest victory of the season as they defied the odds to seal a 43-18 win over the Barrow Raiders, despite playing the final 30 minutes with just 11 men, writes Seb Sternik.

By Mark Berry
Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 8:31 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 9:05 am

Greg Worthington and Titus Gwaze both saw red cards following an altercation with Hakim Miloudi, however Barrow failed to make the player advantage count as they endured a spectacular second-half collapse.

The Panthers scored 19 points after going down to 11-men, which was not only enough to secure an emphatic win but also more than Barrow managed throughout the course of the game.

This was the 10th win in 11 Championship games for Simon Grix’s men, and it completes a Cumbrian treble following earlier away victories over Workington and Whitehaven.

Action from Halifax Panthers' win at Barrow Raiders. Picture: Simon Hall.

The result keeps Halifax in fifth place, but it also builds a four-point play-off cushion. The Panthers are now just one point away from fourth-placed Batley and four away from third-placed York.

Halifax got off to a dream start at Craven Park with Ben Tibbs and Ben Kavanagh scoring tries in the opening 17 minutes to put the visitors 12-0 ahead.

After taking their foot slightly off the gas, the Panthers were punished as Josh Wood forced his way over from acting half to cut the deficit.

James Woodburn-Hall restored the 12-point lead a few moments later, but Barrow once again punished Fax errors as Jarrad Stack sneaked over a try from close range just a minute away from the half-time hooter.

While the first-half was entertaining, it certainly had nothing on the drama of the second which began with Brandon Moore dummying his way over the whitewash to move the visitors 24-12 up.

With 50 minutes on the clock, and the Panthers on a counter, all hell broke loose as Worthington landed a right hand on Miloudi after the Frenchman appeared to get a little too close for comfort with his opponent’s head.

A melee ensued and things were made worse for the Panthers as Gwaze attempted to pick up Miloudi off the floor – a textbook red card offence.

Worthington and Gwaze were subsequently sent-off while Miloudi was given a yellow, meaning Fax would have to defend their 14-point lead for another 30 minutes with just 11 men.

Fax, who earlier this season beat Bradford and York despite being down on numbers, displayed Herculean spirit and an incredible calmness as they rattled off 12 points over the next 10 minutes.

Louis Jouffret and Lachlan Walmsley scored the tries as Halifax stunned the home crowd into silence. While Sammut did eventually break the mould for Raiders, the home side were unable to conjure up another score as a flurry of errors, bad decisions and panic scuppered their hopes of a comeback win.

Instead, the final 10 minutes belonged to Halifax who scored seven more points. A converted try from Matty Gee was followed by a successful drop goal from Joe Keyes to close out a memorable victory.

Barrow Raiders: Luke Cresswell, Tee Ritson, Hakim Miloudi, Matt Costello, Shane Toal, Jake Carter, Jarrod Sammut, Carl Forster, Josh Wood, Ellis Gillam, Tom Hopkins, Jarrad Stack, Anton Iaria. Subs: Nathan Mossop, Dan Toal, Sam Brooks, Mathieu Cozza

Halifax Panthers: James Woodburn-Hall, Lachlan Walmsley, Ben Tibbs, Greg Worthington, James Saltonstall, Louis Jouffret, Joe Keyes, Will Calcott, Brandon Moore, Dan Murray, Ben Kavanagh, Matty Gee, Adam Tangata. Subs: Kyle Wood, Jacob Fairbank, Titus Gwaze, Kevin Larroyer.

Barrow Tries: Josh Wood (26), Jarrad Stack (39), Jarrod Sammut (65). Barrow Goals: Jarrod Sammut 3/3

Halifax Tries: Ben Tibbs (7), Ben Kavanagh (17), James Woodburn-Hall (36), Brandan Moore (45), Louis Jouffret (55), Lachlan Walmsley (61), Matty Gee (70). Halifax Goals: Joe Keyes 7/8. Halifax Drop Goal: Joe Keyes (76)

Match Official: Aaron Moore

Half-Time: Barrow 12-18 Halifax