Halifax Panthers 40 Barrow Raiders 18: Fourth win on spin for Panthers
Lachlan Walmsley and Zack McComb both scored twice as Halifax ran in eight tries to go within one point of their Cumbrian rivals in the Championship table.
The home side, fresh from their derby heroics against Bradford, were looking to continue their fresh wave of momentum after recovering from a shaky start to the season.
Louis Jouffret, who scored the last-gasp winner against the Bulls on Good Friday, opened the scoring as the Yorkshire outfit moved ahead on the 10-minute mark.
Jacob Fairbank showed quick hands as he got his pass away to Dan Murray who surged forward. After standing up the full-back, the big prop released Jouffret who dived under the sticks. A successful kick from Joe Keyes made it 6-0.
Two minutes later, the Panthers were in again. On this occasion, it was Keyes who looked for an opening but failed to get over as the Barrow defence held on. However, the visitors couldn’t handle the quick play of the ball, with a big gap in their defence allowing Adam Tangata to get on the scoresheet. Another Keyes conversion made it 12-0.
Barrow needed a momentum-swinging moment and a penalty in the 22nd minute appeared to do the trick. After restarting on the halfway line, the visitors pushed forward and threatened to score with a last-tackle grubber kick. A Halifax knock-on gave possession back to Barrow and the visitors took full advantage as Jarrod Sammut set up team-mate Tee Ritson.
However, just as the visitors began to battle back, one error in midfield put Fax back on the front foot. Keyes and Jouffret were keen to take advantage of the Barrow error and their link up on the left allowed Joe Arundel to crash over in the corner.
Things quickly went from bad to worse for Barrow as their star man, Summut, was taken off on a stretcher after facing a big hit from Kevin Larroyer and Matt Garside.
After a long pause, the visitors responded first as Jarrad Stack exposed a gap in the Halifax defence. However, the 12-point advantage was soon restored as Walmsley scored his first of the game just moments before the half-time hooter.
Simon Grix’s side, who led at half-time for the first time in three weeks, were intent on building their advantage and came out firing after the interval.
Walmsley, McComb and Kyle Wood stamped their name onto the scoresheet in what proved to be a deadly opening 10 minutes of the second-half.
With the Panthers leading 34-10, the foot inevitably came off the gas which did allow the visitors to close the gap with a couple of efforts from Josh Wood and Luke Cresswell.
However, any hopes of a late comeback were put to bed as McComb scored his second of the game to seal Halifax’s fifth league victory this season.
The Panthers return to action next Saturday away against Newcastle Thunder.
Halifax Panthers: James Woodburn-Hall, Lachlan Walmsley, Zack McComb, Joe Arundel, James Saltonstall, Joe Keyes, Louis Jouffret, Adam Tangata, Brandon Moore, Daniel Murray, Ben Kavanagh, Matt Garside, Jacob Fairbank. Subs: Kyle Wood, Tendai Gwaze, Kevin Larroyer, Ed Barber.
Barrow Raiders: Luke Cresswell, Tee Ritson, Jack Croft, Gary Wheeler, Shane Toal, Jarrod Sammut, Jake Carter, Carl Forster, Josh Wood, Ellis Gillam, Danny Langtree, Jarrad Stack, Anton Iaria. Subs: Nathan Mossop, Samuel Brooks, Charlie Emslie, Samuel Eseh.