Fax’s Saltonstall buoyed by early season form, fixture changes announced

James Saltonstall                       Picture: Hull KR
James Saltonstall Picture: Hull KR

Halifax winger James Saltonstall has said he is happy to have refound his form after a difficult finish to 2016.

Saltonstall nursed a hip injury as Fax toiled through the Championship Shield at the back end of last season, but has been rejuvenated so far this year and will be a key figure when Fax host Swinton at the Shay on Sunday (3.0).

The former Siddal junior, who kicked off his professional career at Warrington before joining his hometown club, has been arguably Fax’s most consistent performer after seven Championship rounds.

“I am happy with the way things are going, but we’ve only played seven games and I need to remember that,” said Saltonstall, after impressing again with a try-scoring performance in Sunday’s loss at Hull Kingston Rovers.

“Towards the end of last year I had a bit of a knock and I just wasn’t playing that well.

“I’d lost form, so this year I just wanted to have a good off season and made sure I started the year well.

“If you’re not playing well, you’re not going to be getting in the team and we all know that.

“I just need to knuckle down now and keep going as I am and doing what I can to help the team.”

Saltonstall’s touchdown at Craven Park, a spectacular leap above Kieron Moss, could not prevent an eventual 28-14 reverse against Tim Sheens’ full time title favourites, but the former England Academy player was upbeat.

“We were all a bit disappointed after the game because we felt it was there for the taking,” he said.

“It’s probably a good sign if we’re coming away from there, having played probably the best team in the league, feeling disappointed that we’ve not won.

“We just need to take that attitude forward now.

“Confidence is high, there is plenty of belief that we can do something this year, but we know we need to start picking up some wins to go with that now.

“It’s a tight league and teams are getting beaten one week and then winning the next.

“If we can string a few results together, we’ll be right up there.

“We just need to keep performing like we have against KR and London and if we do that we won’t be too far away.”

Fax have announced two fixture rearrangements. The home game against Batley on Sunday, April 30 has been moved to a 6pm kick off, the result of the Tour of Yorkshire passing through Halifax earlier in the day.

And their away game against Sheffield, at Wakefield’s Belle Vue ground, will be played on Saturday, June 10, at 6pm.

The Challenge Cup fixture at Whitehaven has also been confirmed for Sunday, April 23, with a 3pm kick off.