Fev v Fax: Tyrer’s last minute kick secures dramatic victory

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Halifax claimed a third straight Championship win with a dramatic last-minute 20-19 success at Featherstone Rovers.

Rovers, who had trailed 18-10 inside the final quarter, looked to have snatched victory when the Leeds half back Jordan Lilley, playing on dual-registration, landed a 40 metre drop goal with three minutes to go to break an 18-18 stalemate.

But Halifax regained possession from the kick off and, with the visitors pressing for a try, referee Chris Kendall awarded a penalty for offside that Steve Tyrer converted to clinch the two points.

Halifax had taken the lead on eight minutes after an awful fumble from Rovers’ Ian Hardman, the full back spilling the ball in acres of space on his own 20 metre line.

Forward Jacob Fairbank provided the pass and half back Gareth Moore, a Rovers player last year, the finish, with Tyrer’s conversion putting the visitors 6-0 up.

They continued to pile forward, Rovers defending for a significant period as penalties and errors kept them under the cosh.

They survived though and, after Jamie Cording had been held up over the line, finally broke their duck when Lilley slipped over on the left hand side.

It was nip and tuck from there on, Halifax winger Jake Eccleston slipping as he went round Hardman and Lilley missing a difficult penalty on the final play of the half as the break came and went at 6-6.

The hosts went in front straight after the restart, Misi Taulapapa crossing from Craven’s pass, Lilley’s missed kick leaving Rovers with a 10-6 lead.

Halifax replied immediately when former Rovers centre Sam Smeaton rounded off an Adam Tangata break, Tyrer kicking the conversion for a 12-10 lead.

A second try from Smeaton, created by captain Scott Murrell, allowed Tyrer to kick Halifax into an 18-10 lead and they looked to be cruising to victory until a Scott Turner touchdown, converted by Lilley, put Rovers back in the contest at 18-16.

They levelled with a long range penalty with six minutes to go, before Lilley landed his drop goal.

That was just the start of the drama though.

Featherstone: Hardman; Johnson, Tagg, Taulapapa, Turner; Craven, Lilley; Griffin, Ellis, Ormondroyd, Cording, Davies, Spears. Subs: Bostock, Milner, Cooper, Baldwinson

Halifax: Greenwood; Eccleston, Smeaton, Tyrer, Saxton; G. Moore, Murrell; Cahalane, Kaye, Ambler, Manning, Tangata, Fairbank. Subs: R. Moore, Bennion, Robinson, B. Moore

Referee: Chris Kendall