It’s Fax versus Leigh in final

HALIFAX will face Leigh in the Northern Rail Cup final after the Centurions secured their expected semi final victory over Dewsbury yesterday.

Ian Millward’s side ran out convincing 44-10 winners against the unfancied Rams at the Leigh Sports Village to tee up a mouthwatering showdown with Fax at Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road on July 17.

Matt Calland’s team, who beat the Co-operative Championship leaders a little over a fortnight ago, booked their place with a golden-point win at Featherstone last Thursday.

“I think Leigh being there as well will make it a great occasion,” said Fax assistant coach Damian Ball.

“They have a healthy supporter base and if the people of Halifax come out in numbers as well I can see it selling out.

“They’ve been really consistent all season, although they had a setback against us.

“It promises to be a really good contest.”

Leigh led 34-6 at half-time and dominated throughout, with two tries from centre Mick Nanyn, who also kicked six goals.

Leigh’s other tries came from John Duffy (2), David Mills, Tommy Goulden, Dean McGilvray and Jamie Ellis.

Dewsbury’s tries came from former Fax half back Dominic Brambani and James Lockwood, with Brambani also kicking a goal.

Fax are expected to announce ticket details for the final later this week, with season ticket holders being given priority.

Harlequins coach Rob Powell has refused to write off a top-eight finish after seeing his side end their winless streak in style at the Stoop.

The Londoners eased to a seven-try, 40-22 defeat of fellow strugglers Wakefield, emerging victorious for the first time in 13 games.

And the Harlequins boss reckons a play-off spot is not beyond the realms of possibility.

Powell said: “We are in the process of rebuilding our season.

“The fight has never gone from the players and in all honesty I expected things to turn around before now.

“But if we can keep performing like that we will give ourselves a competitive chance of finishing the season strongly.

“I know they can play like that and the challenge for us now is to keep that level - there was an intensity in training and I was expecting a reaction - just not a 40-point reaction.”

Harlequins stormed out of the blocks and were virtually out of sight within half an hour.

Luke Gale got the ball rolling when he cashed in after good work from Chris Bailey after just four minutes.

And it was Bailey himself who was next on the scoresheet, taking a flat pass from Gale to stroll over under the posts.

Both Luke Dorn and Tony Clubb added further first-half scores for the hosts, although Dale Morton did cross for the Wildcats right on the interval.

Quins seemed in no mood to let things slip though, Chris Melling darting in the corner 10 minutes after the break to push the home side further ahead.

Although Julien Rinaldi reduced the deficit, tries from Chad Randall and Jamie O’Callaghan pushed the Londoners further ahead, leaving late tries from Jarred Hickey and Paul Johnson as mere consolation.

Wakefield coach John Kear said: “As tight and composed as we were last week we were loose and soft today.

“We have a real problem putting back to back performances together.

“Harlequins ran harder, tackled harder and showed greater desire.

“If you want to be a Super League player you cannot just expect things to happen.”