Frustration as Fax let victory slip from their grasp

Mitch Cahalane put Fax ahead
Mitch Cahalane put Fax ahead

Halifax left Barnet frustrated after a 22-18 Championship loss to the London Broncos.

On a day when the performance was not matched by the final result, Richard Marshall’s side dominated their full-time hosts for long periods, without managing to open the two-score gap they probably needed to kill the contest.

The sides were locked 12-12 at the break, before a Mitch Cahalane try after 54 minutes, converted by Steve Tyrer, put Halifax 18-12 ahead.

The Broncos were creaking at that point, but an Illiess Macani try, from one of a series of hopeful last tackle kicks, and a Brad Dwyer score, from a loose pass inside his own half, gave them an unexpected lead.

Halifax threw everything at their hosts, and went close to regaining their advantage, with Dane Manning, Luke Ambler and Tyrer all being held short, before time ran out.

“I thought we were the better team, and I think the appraisal from their side was the same,” said Marshall.

“It was a frustrating performance, because we should have kicked on and put it to bed at 18-12.

“It was a good game to be involved in, I thought our defence was outstanding at times, but we didn’t come out on the right side of the scoreboard.

“We have got to get smarter with the ball; we probably bombed half a dozen chances.

“We have to work harder on our skill, be more clinical with the ball.

“I feel we’re making progress every week, our preparation was good, the performance was good, we just didn’t get the points.

“It doesn’t get any easier when we have to go to Bradford on Friday though.”

Halifax had made the worst possible start, with the kick off blowing away from winger Gareth Potts at the last and drifting into touch and London scoring in the next set through the second rower Daniel Harrison.

Wes Naiqama converted from the sideline, but with visiting skipper Scott Murrell pulling the strings, Halifax were soon back in the game.

Murrell supplied the final pass, sending full back James Saltonstall over on the left hand side and Tyrer converting from touch to level at 6-6.

Ben Heaton broke straight from the kick off, and when the centre scored from a Dane Manning pass an couple of minutes later, Tyrer converting, it briefly looked like the visitors might run away with the game.

But the Broncos equalised on a rare excursion into opposition territory through Matt Garside, Naiqama again on target, and although the visitors threatened to add to their lead, half time arrived at 12-12.

Broncos: Hellewell; Williams, Farrar, Naiqama, Macani; Keyes, Gilmore; Everett, Dwyer, Lovegrove, Garside, Harrison, Wicks. Subs: Nasso, Thackray, Dollapi,

Halifax: Saltonstall; Brown, Heaton, Tyrer, Potts; Johnston, Murrell; Cahalane, Kaye, Ambler, Divorty, Manning, Fairbank. Subs: Tangata, Spencer, Moore, Maneely

Referee: Gareth Hewer