Determined Irish hunt down Bloem’s plucky Stags

Halifax Irish 60

Stainland Stags 46 (+40)

(Handicap Cup)

Irish overcame a 40 point handicap to progress to the final of the Handicap Cup. Stainland were outclassed by their hosts but Anthony Irvine’s side had to work hard to eventually overcome their plucky lower division rivals.

Michael Reed set the ball rolling for the hosts with an early try, which Martyn Silcox converted. The dependable Silcox, who has been outstanding all season, played a big part in this win by adding 6 conversions.

Chris Rollings was next on the scoresheet as he showed plenty of pace to outstrip the defenders. His brother Gerrard then got in on the act with a well worked try to extend the lead.

Arran Illingworth scored a trademark try and seemed to grow in confidence as he made it a hat trick with two further quality efforts sandwiched between a neat try from Tony Sheard.

As the visitors began to tire the Irish went for the jugular and eventually overcame the large deficit as Joss Bentley powered over for a brace of tries with the impressive Pete Howard, Chris Holroyd and Andy Brocklehurst also getting over the whitewash. Holroyd also added a couple of conversions to give his side breathing space and the passage to their second cup final of an excellent season.

Jake Williams scored Staintand’s try, with Tom Brooke kicking the conversion.

Best for the Stags were Brooke, Paul Davies and Martin Bland.