HALIFAX boss Karl Harrison has set his sights on marking the 25th anniversary of the club’s 1987 Challenge Cup final win over St Helens with a long run in the 2012 edition of the competition.
Harrison’s side booked their place in tonight’s fourth round draw (8.50) with a record-breaking 94-4 flogging of National Conference amateurs Myton at the Shay yesterday.
Fax, inspired by two-try hooker Craig Ashall, ran in 17 tries and set new club benchmarks for highest score and biggest winning margin against the Humbersiders.
And while Fax will be joined in the hat for the next round by the 14 Super League sides, Harrison would prefer an extended adventure rather than an early pay-day against one of the game’s big guns.
“Ideally, it would be nice to get someone from our division or below,” said the former Great Britain prop, who takes his side to Sheffield Eagles on Thursday night for a televised Co-operative Championship fixture.
“I’d like to have a bit of a run this season.
“It’s the 25th anniversary of Halifax winning the trophy and it would be nice to string a few games together and mark that occasion as well as we can.
“When we stuck to the gameplan yesterday, I thought we looked really fluid and efficient.
“You don’t score 94 points and not play well and to be fair to the Myton boys, I thought they had a real dig and never gave in.
“It’s been a good day out for them and they’ve made a few quid, but I think the days of amateur giant-killings against clubs from the top end of the Championship, particularly on warm days like yesterday, are gone.
“The standard is a long, long way away from the top of the Conference now.
“It was a fast track, and a nice wide field, and we were just a lot more athletic than they were.
“It’s always nice to win, we’ve broken a couple of club records, some players who needed some gametime – Ross Divorty, Makali Aizue and Sam Barlow - got it and we gave a few individuals the weekend off, so it’s been beneficial all round.”
Of the comeback players, Divorty – who fractured a vertebrae when he was crushed under some weights in a potentially horrific gym accident before Christmas – was the most impressive.
But it was the young loose forward Callum Casey who profited from Harrison’s decision to rest half a dozen key players, posting a classy performance at the back of the scrum.
“Divo played good,” said Harrison.
“He’s not where he needs to be, but it was certainly a step in the right direction.
“He’s missed a full pre-season, which was unfortunate, but we’ve seen some good signs.
“I thought Callum was really good; he played at hooker and loose forward and was really influential”
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Halifax are running coach travel to Sheffield on Thursday, leaving the Shay at 5.45pm. Seats are £10 and £5 and bookings can be made with Neil Arber on 077144 88080.