Points galore as Fax move clear in third

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Halifax pulled clear in third place in the Championship with a free-scoring 48-30 win over Swinton at Leigh Sports Village.

On a sweltering day in west Lancashire, Karl Harrison’s side never looked in danger, with livewire half back Ben Johnston scoring twice as they led 48-18 at one stage before the Lions staged a late but fruitless revival.

Second-placed rivals Featherstone remain two points clear after winning at Whitehaven, but Fax are now two points clear of Doncaster, who lost at Keighley.

Fax were over the line within 90 seconds of the kick off, the Lions turning the ball over on their own 30 and Paul Mennell burrowing over under the posts.

Steve Tyrer added the conversion for a 6-0 lead that lasted just five minutes, Swinton’s Ed Barber scoring after Fax had forced one pass too many on half way.

Mick Nanyn added the conversion to level the scores, although parity lasted even less time than Fax’s initial lead.

Skipper Scott Murrell broke the line on the left and did everything right before putting Tommy Saxton racing away to the line, Tyrer again converting.

The visitors were in again when Gareth Potts caught a bomb on his own 20 metre line, beat the initial rush of defenders and then scorched past Richie Hawkyard on the outside to score.

Tyrer made it 18-12, but another error opened the door for classy hooker Brad Dwyer to score the softest of tries, Nanyn cutting the Lions’ deficit to 18-12.

The contest briefly settled down at that point, but Fax got the lead they deserved when Johnston applied a great finish to some precise passing from Steve Tyrer, Saxton and Ross Divorty.

Fax were over again inside a minute of the second half, Johnston picking up a loose ball and scooting away from his second, Tyrer making it 30-12.

If there was any doubt about the result at that point, it was banished on 48 minutes, the impressive Keith Holden setting up a walk-in for Murrell, Tyrer making it 36-12.

Kevin Penny’s impressive finish, converted by Nanyn, cut the gap to 36-18, but back to back tries from Luke Adamson and Divorty catapulted Fax 48-18 up and it looked like a long final quarter was looming for Swinton.

But the home side showed plenty of courage and, with Fax making too many mistakes in possession, ran in late tries from Luke Menzies and Mike Morrison, both converted by Nanyn.

Swinton: Hawkyard; Walker, Barber, Nanyn, Penny; Burke, Ainscough; Morrison, Dwyer, Bennion, Bridge, Barlow, Menzie. Subs: Ackers, Johnson, Brown, Peet

Halifax: Potts; Fox, Cowling, Tyrer, Saxton; Murrell, Johnston; Tonks, Mennell, Ambler, Robinson, Divorty, Adamson. Subs: Holden, Casey, Spencer, Bracek

Referee: Tom Crashley