Johnston: Fax were determined to end on a high note

Ben Johnston (back) set up a Tommy Saxton try
Ben Johnston (back) set up a Tommy Saxton try

Halifax half back Ben Johnston has said Richard Marshall’s side were determined to “put the icing on the cake” in Saturday’s derby clash with Bradford Bulls.

Fax have had a stellar first season under Marshall, who had never taken sole charge of a side at senior level before this year, exceeding expectations to finish fourth in the Championship and clinch a spot in the inaugural Super 8s Qualifiers.

Saturday’s 52-18 flogging of the Bulls trumped that achievement as the Shay outfit clinched sixth place and almost £800,000 in prize money.

Johnston, who has flitted between half back and full back this season, was the visitors’ dominant attacker, scoring two tries himself and tormenting the Bulls’ right side defence.

“We have had a brilliant season, but we didn’t want to be satisfied with that,” said Johnston, whose two touchdowns came in the middle of a six-tries-in-20-minutes blitz that left James Lowes’ side reeling.

“We wanted to go to Bradford and put the icing on the cake and we definitely did that.

“We were a bit flat in the first half, but we came out firing in that second half.

“We really kicked on, it was a really professional job and it epitomised what we have been about this season.

“The money is nice once you’ve got it won, but it’s about the desire to play for each other.

“We love what we are doing here, we all play for each other and it was great to put it into a final 80 minute performance.

“I’ve been at full back for a few weeks and it was nice to get back to half and show what I can do there.”