Handforth: Critics were wrong to write us off

Paul Handforth (right) celebrates a Fax try
Paul Handforth (right) celebrates a Fax try

Halifax vice captain Paul Handforth insists the club are genuine title contenders ahead of Sunday’s final league fixture against Workington at the Shay (3.0).

Karl Harrison’s side have emerged from a month of misery - which saw them take just one win and a draw from five games - with back to back wins against Batley and Keighley to virtually secure a third-placed finish.

“I think a lot of people have written us off,” said Handforth.

“But at the same time I think everybody knows that if we click then on our day we can beat any side in the competition.

“I don’t think we are far off; we’ve had a real dip in form and now we are starting to build back up.

“You win trophies by peaking at the right time.

“We certainly had a corner that we needed to turn.

“We ground it out against Batley in a game that was to and fro, we trained well last week and we are starting to see smiles on faces again.

“If you are playing with a smile on your face you see the results on the field; there was a real feeling of togetherness out there against Keighley.”

Handforth, who is likely to switch back from half back to hooker once Harrison has crocked stand off Anthony Thackeray available again, is one of a clutch of players who will leave the Shay at the end of the season, in his case for a stint with Paul March’s Cougars.

“It’s life, isn’t it? It’s certainly part of rugby league,” said the veteran playmaker.

“Keighley will be a change and another challenge and sometimes you need that.

“A lot of the lads won’t be here next year, but we’re together this season and we want to finish the year with some winners medals.

“It didn’t make any difference to me playing there last week, it’s next season.

“We still have a job to do here and Keighley is always a difficult ground to win at.

“That’s probably their biggest game of the season, it’s a local derby and everyone wants bragging rights.

“But we went to do a job and I thought we did it pretty well.”