York City Knights 24 Halifax Panthers 40: Panthers fight back to register seventh straight win

Halifax Panthers have extended their winning streak to seven straight games following a gripping comeback victory over the York City Knights.

By Sebastian Sternik
Sunday, 22nd May 2022, 7:23 pm
Lachlan Walmsley scored a hat-trick of tries in Halifax Panthers' 40-24 comeback Championship win at York City Knights. Picture: Paul Currie/SWpix.com.
Lachlan Walmsley scored a hat-trick of tries in Halifax Panthers' 40-24 comeback Championship win at York City Knights. Picture: Paul Currie/SWpix.com.

A hat-trick from Lachlan Walmsley and an outstanding man-of-the-match performance from Joe Keyes saw the Panthers turn an 18-6 deficit into an emphatic 40-24 win.

With Featherstone and Leigh dominating proceedings in the Championship, the battle between fourth-placed Halifax and third-placed York had been billed as a ‘best of the rest’ clash.

Both teams came into the encounter on the back of impressive unbeaten runs - with York winning seven league games on the bounce and Halifax winning six.

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Joe Keyes put in a man-of-the-match performance for Halifax Panthers in the win at York City Knights. Picture: Courtesy Halifax Panthers RL.

The Knights opened the scoring early as former Fax man Liam Harris capitalised on a clever offload from Jamie Ellis. The assist was followed by a successful conversion as Ellis moved his side 6-0 up.

Halifax were quick to respond with Walmsley making the most of a scintillating break from James Woodburn-Hall to level the score.

The visitors almost had a second on the 15-minute mark as Saltonstall’s effort was ruled out for a forward pass.

What followed next, though, was a disastrous six-minute spell for Simon Grix’s men. Louis Jouffret was first sent to the sin-bin for a professional foul. York made the most of their man advantage as Jack Teanby crashed over from close range.

If that wasn’t bad enough, match official Ben Thaler took out his yellow card for a second time just five minutes later - this time sending Saltonstall to the bin for yet another professional foul.

With Fax down to 11-men, York had acres of space to play with. A team of their quality was not about to pass up such an opportunity, and they scored again with Matty Marsh exposing the massive holes in the Fax defence.

All the momentum was with the hosts, until a moment of magic turned the contest on a dime.

As York pushed ahead, looking for another effort, a pass from Harris was intercepted brilliantly by Walmsley who powered over 80 metres to give the 12 men of Halifax a crucial score.

Keyes converted to close the gap to 18-12, and, moments later, the scrum-half was at it again. This time, a brilliant dummy allowed the in-form man to gain valuable metres before finding Brandon Moore. The hooker finished the move off as Keyes converted again to level the scores.

York were stunned and, moments later, Halifax scored their third try in six minutes. Jouffret’s pitch-perfect pass for Woodburn-Hall allowed the full-back to slice the defence open and give the visitors a 22-18 lead.

The Knights regained their focus for the second half and regained the lead as Harris’ effort was

converted by Ellis.

Halifax, who are no strangers to comebacks this season, rose to the challenge once more and countered York with a converted try from Dan Murray.

The clinical nature of the visitors paid further dividends later on in the half as two more efforts from Walmsley and Murray completed a seismic 40-24 victory away at the LNER stadium.

York City Knights: Matty Marsh, Joe Brown, James Glover, Bailey Antrobus, Will Oakes, Liam Harris, Jamie Ellis, Masi Matongo, Will Jubb, Ronan Dixon, Danny Kirmond, Chris Clarkson, Jordan Thompson. Subs: Sam Davis, Jack Teanby, Marcus Stock, Joe Porter.

York Tries: Harris (4, 51), Teanby (23), Marsh (26).

York Goals: Ellis 4/4.

Halifax Panthers: James Woodburn-Hall, Lachlan Walmsley, Ben Tibbs, Joe Arundel, James

Saltonstall, Louis Jouffret, Joe Keyes, Will Calcott, Brandon Moore, Dan Murray, Oliver Roberts, Matt Garside, Adam Tangata. Subs: Kyle Wood, Titus Gwaze, Kevin Larroyer, Ed Barber.

Halifax Tries: Walmsley (11, 34, 62), Moore (36), Woodburn-Hall (39), Murray (57, 71).

Halifax Goals: Keyes 6/7.

Halifax Sin-Bins: Jouffret - professional foul (20), Saltonstall - professional foul (25).

Match Official: Ben Thaler.

Half-time: York City Knights 18-22 Halifax Panthers.

Venue: LNER Community Stadium.