Fax clinch victory in Keighley friendly

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Halifax claimed victory in a low-key pre-season outing at Keighley, a second half try from young forward Martyn Reilly clinching a 26-24 victory.

Reilly crashed over on 55 minutes, with half back Connor Robinson putting Fax back in front after the Cougars had turned a 20-12 half time deficit into a 24-20 lead.

Both coaches fielded a mix of established talent and youngsters, but with Fax’s 10-man bench necessitating a rash of substitutions their performance lacked any real consistency.

The real bright spot, again, was the young former Castleford hooker Brandon Moore, who turned in another encouraging cameo that included putting a try on a plate for Ben Johnston.

Moore, who looked equally comfortable against Super League Widnes last weekend, may have been recruited to take his chances in the reserves, but he already looks destined to make a bigger impact than that.

Fax took an early lead through Tommy Saxton, the winger scoring in the corner from Ben Johnston’s grubber kick.

Keighley levelled through Aaron Ollett and then moved ahead when Adam Brook added the conversion to make it 6-4.

Fax put their foot down after that though, Moore emphasising his talent with a break and pass to send Johnston under the posts.

Gaylor made it 10-6, before centre Chester Butler burst clear down the right and gave Callum Dunne an easy touchdown in the corner.

Gaylor then showed pace and footwork to cap Andy Bracek’s break, Martin putting the visitors 20-6 up.

Keighley gave themselves a lifeline when Brook scored just before the break, his conversion making it 20-12 at the interval.

The second half started with two Keighley tries, from Ollett and the giant Ross Peltier, Brook kicking the home side 24-20 ahead.

Fax’s response was immediate, Reilly showing some strength to bustle over and Connor Robinson slotting over the conversion to give his side a 26-24 lead they held to the end.

Keighley: Sheriffe; Gabriel, Lawton, Casey, Hunt; Darville, Brook; Cherryholme, Lee, Bailey, Martin, Nicholson, Lindsay. Subs: Law, Dickinson, Esslemont, Ollett, Barnes, Seeley, Peltier

Halifax: Martin; Saxton, Eccleston, Butler, Dunne; Johnston, Gaylor; Morris, Moore, Holroyd, Robinson, Hema, Bracek. Subs: Stringer, Georgiou, Syme, Nelmes, Timmins, Baldwin, Reilly, Robinson, Allen, Brown

Referee: Tom Crashley