Brilliant Fax put title rivals to the sword

Rob Worrincy
Rob Worrincy

Halifax produced an astonishing performance to bolster their position at the top of the Championship, thrashing Leigh 60-10 at the Shay to open up an eight-point gap on the Lancashire side.

The home side, supremely marshalled by stand off Scott Murrell, were near flawless against the team that beat them three times last season.

In all, Fax scored 11 tries, including doubles for centre Ben Heaton and winger Rob Worrincy, against a Leigh side coached by one former Fax hooker, Paul Rowley, and containing two more in Sean Penkywicz and Bob Beswick.

Fax took the lead after 11 minutes, Leigh’s Rob Parker conceding the game’s first penalty and Murrell putting Heaton clear with a great short pass.

The centre had support outside and threw the dummy, running inside Leigh’s Gregg McNally and round behind the posts.

Steve Tyrer kicked the conversion and the home side continued to turn up the heat, forcing three successive sets deep in the Leigh half before Murrell conjured another wonder-ball to put the excellent Ryan Fieldhouse over under the posts.

Tyrer doubled the lead, although Leigh had a chance of their own almost immediately, the winger Jon Pownall spilling the ball with the try-line open.

That was their last chance of the half as Fax continued to probe, but although they went close - Rob Worrincy and Craig Ashall both being denied - it took them until two minutes before the break to get the third try their play deserved.

It came on the right, Paul Handforth expertly picking Tyrer out in a on-rushing backline and the centre forcing his way over the line.

The conversion drifted wide, but Fax started the second half in the same mood they finished the first, scoring through Heaton after just a minute.

At 22-0, it was game over and the home side piled on the agony, even after Harrison took the precaution of replacing both Handforth and Tyrer after they suffered injuries.

They scored another six tries in total, including a classic long-range winger’s effort from Worrincy and the 100th try of Anthony Thackeray’s career, a brilliant one-handed put-down inches shy of the dead ball line.

Sam Barlow, Luke Ambler, Worrincy again, Craig Ashall and Callum Casey all got in on the act with Leigh scoring twice in the closing stages, first through Ryan Brierley and then, on the final play, through Penkywicz.

But there was no taking the gloss off a sensational Fax display.

Halifax: Fieldhouse; Worrincy, Tyrer, Heaton, Paterson; Murrell, Thackeray; Tonks, Handforth, Ambler, Manning, Divorty, Adamson. Subs: Ashall, Bracek, Barlow, Casey

Leigh: McNally; Maden, Littler, Gardner, Pownall; Ridyard, Beswick; Spencer, Penkywicz, Parker, Finnigan, Briscoe, Hopkins. Subs: Brierley, Ostick, Thornley, Taylor

Referee: C. Leatherbarrow

Attendance: 2,161