Halifax Panthers 17 Widnes Vikings 16: How Liam Harris’ last-minute drop goal secured top-four Championship status at The Shay

Halifax Panthers made their way into the top four of the RFL Championship with a dramatic last-minute victory over the Widnes Vikings at the Shay.

Sunday, 4th July 2021, 9:32 pm
Halifax Panthers' drop-goal match winner against Widnes Vikings, Liam Harris. Picture: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.

Despite torrential conditions, the game did go ahead thanks to the efforts of the ground staff.

Halifax started poorly and were down 6-0 early on after Widnes collected a chipped kick to open the scoring, which was added to with a conversion.

Despite the home side ramping up the pressure on the Widnes line, the Panthers suffered a sucker punch as a pass was intercepted by Jayden Hatton, who charged the entire length of the field for a score. Another conversion made it 12-0.

Sunday's pre-match mop up at The Shay. Picture: simonomhrugbypics.

On 29 minutes, Fax finally made their pressure tell on the scoreboard as Elliot Morris went over to halve the arrears. Shortly before the hooter, Widnes converted a penalty to push the score to 14-6, and leaving Halifax with a mountain to climb after the break.

In the second period, the Panthers again sought to camp inside the Widnes half and, on 58 minutes, they finally found a way back into the match.

A perfectly weighted kick from Liam Harris was gobbled up by James Saltonstall, and the winger did the rest, diving over to make the gap only one score.

Five minutes later, the Panthers’ fighting spirit well and truly shone through as they levelled the contest.

Try-line action at The Shay where a last-minute drop-goal clinched the win for Halifax Panthers over Widnes Vikings. Picture: simonomhrugbypics.

Again, Saltonstall was the beneficiary of some excellent passing, with James-Woodburn Hall passing to the winger to go over for his second.

A fantastic kick under pressure from Liam Harris tied the match at 16 points apiece.

With time ticking down and the match edging towards a draw, Liam Harris’ drop-goal clinched the late point to give his side an incredible comeback win, and their fifth in a row.

Match action from Halifax Panthers' 17-16 drop-goal win over Widnes Vikings. Picture: simonomhrugbypics.