Harrison’s Fax closing in on third after derby win

Fax showed signs of form at Keighley
Fax showed signs of form at Keighley
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Halifax took a huge step nearer a third place Championship finish with a dominant 34-4 win at Keighley.

Having broken their run of poor results against Batley last weekend, Karl Harrison’s side were a team transformed against their derby rivals, playing with confidence and energy from start to finish.

They were still a long way short of perfect, but they were far too good for the Cougars, who looked a distant second best for most of the 80 minutes.

The visitors had been superior from the off, rolling down the hill with ease as starting props Tony Tonks and Ben Davies made metre after metre.

It was no surprise when they took the lead on six minutes, Adam Robinson barrelling clear down the left and full back Ryan Fieldhouse backing up to put Steve Tyrer over in the corner.

The centre converted from the sideline and was on target again five minutes later when Scott Murrell rifled a cut-out pass to Wayne Reittie, who danced over for his third try in the last two matches.

And when Murrell’s kick and Reittie’s crushing tackle forced the error from Jessjo Sheriffe, Tyrer was on hand to score his side’s third of the night and open up a 16-0 lead.

The only blight on Fax’s night was the penalty count, some fair, some highly debateable, which at one stage stood at 10-2 and gave the Cougars five consecutive sets in the Fax 20 metre area.

The fact the visitors did not crack - or even look like cracking - was testament to their transformed state of mind, and when Fieldhouse scooped up a loose pass and raced 60 metres to score just before half time, Tyrer converting, they led 22-0 at the break.

The Cougars looked lively at the start of the second half, scoring an early try through Danny Jones’ show and go to leave the score at 22-4.

But Fieldhouse’s second, after a great ball from Dane Manning, and converted from touch by Tyrer put Fax 28-4 ahead.

Things got a bit scrappy after that, but the result never looked like changing, a point highlighted by Reittie’s final minute touchdown, which Tyrer converted.

Keighley: Moss; J. Sheriffe, Williams, Chandler, Barnett; Jones, March; Shickell, Feather, Sheriffe, Lynam, Pursglove, Rawlins. Subs: Kelly, Hesketh, Law, Sagar

Halifax: Fieldhouse; Reittie, Tyrer, Paterson, Sheriffe; Murrell, Handforth; Tonks, Ashall, Davies, Manning, Robinson, Adamson. Subs: Ambler, Bracek, Casey, Divorty

Referee: D. Sharpe