Woodburn-Hall stars as Fax hammer Batley on Shay return

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Halifax celebrated only their second home game in two months with a convincing 50-12 flogging of Batley at a sun-drenched Shay.

The home side were without Australian full back Kieren Moss, but his replacement James Woodburn-Hall was in fine form, scoring one try and making two more with slick passes.

Richard Marshall’s side, who travel to Barrow next weekend, led 20-6 at the break before running away with the contest in the second half.

Halifax enjoyed a perfect start, scoring inside two minutes when back rower Shane Grady charged over from a short Ben Johnston pass.

Steve Tyrer hit the post with the relatively simple conversion and was wide of the target for a second time when Fax added to their tally on quarter time, winger Will Sharp diving one-handed for the corner from a fine pass from Woodburn-Hall.

But with the home side making too many errors with the ball, their lead was cut to a slender 8-6 when James Brown rumbled over for Batley, Dave Scott kicking the conversion with half an hour gone.

The visitors went close to scoring again immediately, Brad Day’s charge sparking a period of intense pressure.

Fax held on and young back rower Chester Butler promptly raced away down the right before picking out the supporting Brandon Moore for the try under the posts.

Tyrer’s conversion pushed the lead out to 14-6 and although the errors continued from both sides, it was Fax who had the ability to make their opponents pay; Woodburn-Hall’s right hand fend creating a gap for him to score in the final minute of the half.

Tyrer’s sideline kick left the home side leading 20-6 at the break, a lead that stretched out to 26-6 when Moore rounded off a slick five-man passing movement down the left, Tyrer converting.

But a handling error straight from the kick off paved the way for Adam Gledhill to score, Scott’s goal narrowing the gap to 26-12 with half an hour remaining.

Woodburn-Hall proved the difference again, producing a brilliant pass for James Saltonstall to score in the corner, Tyrer converting for 32-12.

Butler then set up Scott Murrell for a walk in, Adam Tangata’s flick pass put Johnston over and Ed Barber rumbled clear to set up Elliot Morris, Tyrer converting all three as the home side wrapped up the victory.

Halifax: James Woodburn-Hall; Saltonstall, Tyrer, Heaton, Sharp; Murrell, Johnston; Fleming, Kaye, Fairbank, Butler, Grady, Grix. Subs: Morris, Moore, Tangata, Barber

Batley: Tomlinson; Smeaton, Bretherton, Galbraith, Crookes; Scott, Davey; Gledhill, Hemingway, Ward, Manning, Farrell, Day. Subs: Harrison, Rowe, Brown, Butterworth

Referee: Tom Grant