Fax drop point as Rams grab late point at the Shay

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Halifax dropped a precious point in the race for a top four finish in the Championship after drawing 22-22 with struggling Dewsbury at the Shay.

Richard Marshall’s side, who face rivals Featherstone in next weekend’s Summer Bash at Bloomfield Road, trailed 14-0 at the break, but recovered to lead 16-14 and 22-20 before a penalty from Rams’ captain Paul Sykes four minutes from time forced a late stalemate.

Almost from the first tackle, the home side looked off the pace after their weekend off while the Rams, heavily beaten by Barrow a week ago, looked sharper and more physical.

The visitors had already missed one gilt edged chance, Aaron Brown losing the ball over the line, by the time Jordan Crowther burrowed his way over after nine minutes, Paul Sykes adding the conversion.

Halifax almost scored a few minutes later, Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e cutting through the line and kicking ahead for Ben Johnston, only for the half back to be beaten by a wicked bounce.

The Rams got a penalty in the next set that allowed Sykes to make it 8-0 and while the home side threatened sporadically, it was the Rams who scored their second try on 26 minutes, Michael Knowles scoring after Scott Murrell had been caught out in defence.

Sykes converted for a 14-0 lead after 26 minutes, prompting a surge of sorts from the home side, although the biggest talking point of the remaining 14 minutes was a brawl that saw Johnston and Toby Everett dispatched to the sin bin.

The Rams finished the half under pressure and finally cracked at the start of the second, a brilliant solo try from QLT, the full back dancing clear and rounding Josh Guzdek, putting Fax on the scoreboard.

Tyrer converted but was wide of the target after he scored himself from a short Shane Grady pass on 52 minutes.

But when the centre leapt high to claim Scott Murrell’s kick for his second score, he landed the conversion that put the home side 16-14 up with 20 minutes remaining.

That lead lasted a matter of seconds, a wild pass from Ben Johnston landing in the arms of his former teammate Rob Worrincy, who cantered clear to score, Sykes’ kick giving the Rams a 20-16 lead.

Centre Ed Barber grabbed a scrappy try for Fax with seven minutes remaining, Tyrer coolly kicking them into a 22-20 lead, but a controversial penalty - Will Sharp being called offside after catching Sykes’ kick on the full - was tapped over by Sykes, squaring things up at 22-22.

Fax had one final chance to salvage a win when Tyrer just failed to reel in a kick to the corner, but it finished honours even.

Halifax: Laulu-Togaga’e; McGrath, Tyrer, Barber, Sharp; Murrell, Johnston; Fairbank, Kaye, Fleming, Butler, Grady, Grix. Subs: Morris, Moore, Maher, Jones

Dewsbury: Guzdek; Worrincy, Glover, Hallet, Morton; Sykes, Brown; Wakeman, Ward, Teanby, Walshaw, Knowles, Crowther. Subs: Sheriffe, Speakman, Everett, Igbinedion

Referee: Billy Pearson