Fax slump to heavy loss against Batley

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Halifax suffered a second successive Championship loss as Batley dominated every aspect of a 24-6 success at Mount Pleasant.

Matt Diskin’s side, thrashed last week in Toulouse, were physically and tactically too good for Richard Marshall’s team, who consistently undermined their cause with a string of penalties and errors on a thoroughly miserable afternoon.

The Bulldogs were in front after two minutes, after a passage of play that just summed up the opening half.

A penalty on half way put the Bulldogs on the attack and a little kick from Dominic Brambani was pounced on by former Fax centre Sam Smeaton, Pat Walker converting for a 6-0 lead.

The visitors barely managed to find an attacking position of note from that point, with a string of errors inside their own half and early in the tackle count - a couple of howlers from James Woodburn-Hall and Ryan Boyle stood out - putting Batley firmly on the front foot.

The Bulldogs hardly needed a second invitation, scoring a second try through back rower Liam Bretherton after 23 minutes, James Davey the architect from dummy half and Walker obliging with the conversion.

Trailing 12-0, Fax were already up against it and might have gone further behind when Mike Hawkyard and Dane Manning were stopped inches short.

In the end, holding out until the break proved beyond them, another penalty rolling Batley up the slope and Manning scoring, and celebrating, with all the enthusiasm he used to show in the blue and white.

Walker converted for an 18-0 lead that looked every inch a match winning advantage.

And so it proved, with the sniff of a second half comeback, the result of a couple of decent kicks from Murrell and a little more energy with the ball, proving an illusion.

The Bulldogs put things beyond any doubt on 62 minutes, a third former Halifax player, the forward Joe Chandler, scoring against his old club and Walker converting for 24-0.

Fax finally broke their duck with four minutes remaining, Woodburn-Hall making space neatly and James Saltonstall, easily Fax’s best player on the day, scoring by the flag for Steve Tyrer to convert.

Halifax: Robinson; Saltonstall, Tyrer, Woodburn-Hall, Worrincy; Murrell, Moore; Boyle, Wilkinson, Cahalane, Tangata, Grix, Fairbank. Subs: Barber, Johnston, Ambler, Mammone

Batley: Scott; Hayward, Smeaton, Hallett, Ainscough; Walker, Brambani; Lillycrop, Davey, Maher, Bretherton, Manning, Day. Subs: Southernwood, Brown, Chandler, Harrison