Barber strikes three times as Fax beat Dewsbury

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Three tries from loose forward Ed Barber helped Halifax to a convincing 26-0 Championship win over Dewsbury at the Shay.

Barber, starting at the back of the scrum in place of the injured Simon Grix, opened the scoring on the quarter hour and then rounded things off 13 minutes from time as Richard Marshall’s side dispatched their West Yorkshire rivals.

On a quagmire of a pitch, with heavy rain and hail falling for most of the opening half, the home side made the early running, forcing a succession of drop outs as the Rams - who had pushed title favourites Toronto close last weekend - struggled to find a way into the game.

The pressure eventually told when prop Jacob Fairbank stood up the defence with a short pass to Barber, who rounded the remnants of the defence to slide over by the posts.

Centre Steve Tyrer tapped over the conversion for a 6-0 lead, with the same player adding a penalty on 21 minutes as the lead stretched out to 8-0.

Fax lost Barber to the sin bin after a scuffle on the half hour, but the home side weren’t done, back rower Shane Grady and half back Ben Johnston combining to carve out a fine try for winger Shaun Robinson on the last play of the half.

Tyrer kicked the goal off the waterlogged sideline for a 14-0 lead, which already looked like a match winning advantage with 40 minutes remaining.

The home side continued to dominate after the break and cracked their visitors again eight minutes into the half, Barber twisting and turning out of a four-man tackle on the try line to score.

Tyrer converted as Fax went 20-0 up and when Barber, who finished the game in the centre, darted down the short side and twisted out of a two-man tackle to score by the corner flag, Tyrer’s conversion rounded off a comprehensive afternoon’s work.

Halifax: Chapman-Smith; Sharp, Tyrer, Saltonstall, Robinson; Murrell, Johnston; Fleming, Kaye, Fairbank, Larroyer, Grady, Barber. Subs: Kavanagh, Morris, Moore, Cooper

Dewsbury: Hooley; Worrincy, Walshaw, Ryder, Morton; Sykes, Finn; Annakin, Day, Garratt, O. Trout, Kibula, K. Trout. Subs: Ward, Knowles, Igbinedion, Mustapha.

Referee: Jack Smith