Halifax brought the curtain down on the round robin phase of the Championship Shield with an unspectacular and at times unconvincing 46-26 win over relegated Workington at the Shay.
Workington arrived in Yorkshire with a barely believable 14 players, raising the question of whether or not the game should have been allowed to go ahead in the first place.
Halifax eventually took the victory ahead of their semi final against Sheffield next Sunday, but the visitors took plenty of plaudits for a determined and inventive effort.
Halifax opened the scoring on 11 minutes, back rower Ed Barber skipping through on the right after a short ball from half back Gareth Moore, who converted for a 6-0 lead.
Town’s reply was almost immediate after their hosts lost the kick off, Theerapol Ritson touching down a Jarrod Sammut kick in the left corner.
Sammut missed the conversion, but was controlling just about everything else as Halifax, almost against the run of play, stretched their lead with a long range raid finished by winger Will Sharp, Moore’s kick drifting wide for a 10-4 scoreline.
The Cumbrians got some reward for their energy and flair when Jason Mossop touched down, Sammut converting and then adding a penalty as Workington edged 12-10 ahead.
But Halifax eased into something like a comfort zone with back to back tries just before the break, young forward Elliot Morris capped a raid in midfield and then James Woodburn-Hall rounded off some slick attack, Moore converting both for a 22-12 advantage.
Woodburn-Hall grabbed a second at the start of the second half, Moore converting from touch, but with Town almost inexplicably dominating the penalty count - 10-3 at one stage - the home side struggled to find further attacking momentum.
Town closed to 28-18 when Jamie Doran scored from Sammut’s short kick, Sammut adding the conversion, then found themselves within a score at 28-22 when Matty Gee touched down for an unconverted try.
Halifax’s numerical strength inevitably told though, with props Mitch Cahalane and Luke Ambler adding last quarter touchdowns as their visitors tired, Moore converting both.
Moore then rounded things off with a try of his own, which he also converted, before Declan Hulme’s score gave Town the last word.
Halifax: Johnston; Greenwood, Woodburn-Hall, Rawsthorne, Sharp; Robinson, G. Moore; Cahalane, Kaye, Ambler, Barber, Bennion, Fairbank. Subs: B. Moore, Morris, Boyle, Nelmes.
Town: Murphy; Hulme, Gee, Mossop, Ritson; Forber, Sammut; Walker, Doran, Gordon, Shackley, McAvoy, Scholey. Sub: Verlinden
Referee: T. Grant