Halifax opened up a four-point gap over fourth-placed in the Championship with a comfortable 36-24 home success over Dewsbury.
The injury-hit visitors trailed 18-6 at half time, rallied briefly at 24-18 but ultimately had no answer to Karl Harrison’s side, who travel to North Wales Crusaders next Sunday.
In a stop-start contest, with both Harrison and the Rams’ Glenn Morrison aiming thinly veiled barbs at referee Jamie Bloem after the game, Fax were expertly marshalled by half backs Scott Murrell and Ben Johnston, with Johnston scoring a brilliant solo try to enhance his growing reputation.
Ironically, it was the Rams who dominated the opening exchanges, having eight of the first nine sets of possession and scoring a try through the back rower Shane Grady, with Tom Hemingway kicking them into a 6-0 lead.
Fax slowly worked their way into the game almost inspite of their own errors and got themselves on the scoreboard at the end of the first quarter when prop Luke Ambler, who was excellent again, deceived the defence straight from a tap penalty.
Steve Tyrer, who kicked immaculately all afternoon, levelled with the conversion although it was the Rams who continued to enjoy the best of the opening half hour as Fax struggled to find top gear.
When they did get it right though, the results were spectacular and decisive.
Murrell created the platform with a quick-witted ball steal at the scrum base, before Johnston showed dazzling pace and footwork to beat three defenders and score under the posts, Tyrer adding the extras.
And 12-6 became 18-6 just before the break when Ross Divorty produced a huge sidestep to leave Rams’ full back Karl Pryce spreadeagled on his way to the line, Tyrer converting.
Fax extended their lead within 90 seconds of the second half restart, Adam Robinson breaking clear deep in his own half and then popping up one play later to send centre Danny Cowling diving over in the corner.
Tyrer converted and although there was brief concern when Grady and Tommy Gallagher scored in quick succession for Dewsbury to cut their deficit to 24-18, normal service was resumed when full back Ryan Fieldhouse pounced on Murrell’s clever kick and Tyrer re-established a two-score lead at 30-18.
Fieldhouse, who had struggled to find his passing game in the opening half, then produced a beauty for a flying Gareth Potts to score, Tyrer leaving the Rams dead and buried at 36-18.
Ryan Wright’s last-minute chargedown try from Johnston’s kick gave the visitors some consolation, but did nothing to alter the final result.
Halifax: Fieldhouse; Potts, Cowling, Tyrer, Saxton; Murrell, Johnston; Tonks, Kaye, Ambler, Robinson, Divorty, Adamson. Subs: Bracek, Mennell, Casey, Spencer
Rams: Pryce; Morton, Hellewell, Wood, Buchanan; Hyde, Thackeray; Hepworth, Hemingway, Spicer, Hale, Grady, Murphy. Subs: Farrell, Wright, Haggerty, Gallagher
Referee: Jamie Bloem