Fax edge home as Hornets pay price for poor discipline

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Halifax left Rochdale with two precious Championship points after the toughest of battles at Spotland was settled by a late Rob Worrincy touchdown.

Richard Marshall’s side finally emerged 20-6 winners in a contest that finished in a near-gale and heavy rain.

The visitors led 8-6 at the break, but pulled clear in the second half, finally clinching the spoils late in the game after Hornets had two players - Ben Moores and Gary Middlehurst - sin binned for separate offences, reducing them to 11 men.

Rochdale had been in front after seven minutes, a rare defensive error from James Saltonstall, who came out of the line to shut play down, leaving opposite number Rob Massam with a clear run to the corner.

Stand off Lewis Palfrey tagged on the conversion for a 6-0 lead that would have doubled almost immediately, following a fumble from Saltonstall, if Lewis Galbraith had passed rather than going himself and being penalised for a double movement.

A Scott Murrell 40/20 put Fax back on the front foot, Saltonstall only being denied by desperate cover defence from Murrell’s long pass.

And the visitors drew level on quarter time, Ed Barber stopping, spinning and then driving through a retreating defence to score on the left, Steve Tyrer converting.

Barber was close again soon after, running a great line onto Ben Johnston’s pass, but Hornets’ defence held on.

Half time was fast approaching when Fax were awarded a penalty in front of the posts, Tyrer accepting the gift to give the visitors a tenuous 8-6 lead at the break.

The visitors looked threatening from the start of the second half, eventually stretching their lead when Tyrer claimed Murrell’s cross kick, just moments after Hornets had turned down an easy penalty that would have levelled the scores at 8-8.

Tyrer added a penalty on 62 minutes and, with Middlehurst dispatched for a wild high tackle and Moores following for persistent offending at the ruck, a rampaging break from Adam Tangata paved the way for Worrincy’s winner.

Halifax: Sharp; Saltonstall, Tyrer, Woodburn-Hall, Worrincy; Murrell, Johnston; Boyle, O’Brien, Cahalane, Barber, Grix, Fairbank. Subs: Morris, Kaye, Ambler, Tangata

Rochdale: Riley; Eccleston, Blythe, Galbraith, Massam; Palfrey, Yates; Tahraoui, Moores, Bennion, Bridge, Crowley, Middlehurst. Subs: Maneely, Taira, Hadden, Case

Referee: C. Straw