York City Knights 22 Halifax 8: Below-par Fax are well beaten

Fax’s bid to move higher up the play off places hit the buffers after a disappointing display against relegation-threatened York.

They were second best in almost every department to the City Knights who were able to raise their game despite the desperate circumstances in which they find themselves at the wrong end of the table.

Fax were unable to build on a Paul White try which came five minutes after the home side had taken the lead.

And by the time the winger got his second touchdown in the dying minutes the game had already gone.

There was good and bad at the end of the first set of six for the visitors when Rob Worrincy mis-controlled a Chris Thorman kick, retrieved it successfully and set off down field only to be forced into touch 10 metres inside York territory.

Loose forward Paul Smith then collected Thorman’s second attempt to kick on the last tackle as the home side failed to make the most of their early chance.

Thorman’s third kick was a success, though, as he gave his pack head and feed following a 40-20.

Jack Lee tried to get over from acting half back but was repelled before the ball was worked right and went forward as Fax survived.

Matt Garside’s knock on close to the halfway line gave Fax their first real attacking opportunity, Danny Jones putting in a kick that forced Dennis Tuffour to take the ball dead for a goalline drop out.

Miles Greenwood collected another Thorman kick and fed White who raced 80 metres, Bob Beswick eventually being held up over the line.

And York responded with a Matt Garside break of a similar distance before they were awarded a penalty from which Anthony Thackeray went close and Alex Benson crashed over for the opening try, converted by Thorman, in the 13th minute.

The home side spilled the ball almost immediately, Thackeray putting it down 20 metres from his own line.

And Fax made the most of the opportunity with Ryan Fieldhouse sending White over on the left hand corner with Jones’s conversion from the touchline rebounding back off a post.

Fax were on the attack again when Bob Beswick’s pass for Jones was patted down by Lee, who raced 70 metres to score only to be pulled back by referee Tim Roby.

Anthony Bowman’s tricky grubber was well collected by Thorman under pressure close to his own line.

But it was the Fax line that was under pressure as the half hour approached when Ryan Esders stripped White of possession but was held short by the winger who recovered well.

And a couple of minutes later Fax were forced to drop out from under their own sticks when Greenwood collected a Thorman chip and ran dead.

The visitors cracked in the next set of six as York drove the ball in and Brett Waller crashed over from close range with Thorman adding the extras to make it 12-4.

Jones went close after swooping on a loose pass before Bowman had to be helped from the field a couple of minutes before half time after twisting a knee in a tackle, which saw the introduction of Ben Black.

There was still time for Greenwood to be dragged into touch after collecting a Thorman kick and James Haynes was held on his back over the line.

Black leapt out of the line to concede a scrum and Fax then infringed.

Thorman missed the simple penalty then tried another after the hooter - from five metres inside his own half - that went over to leave Fax trailing 14-4 at the break.

Dylan Nash knocked on from the restart and was relieved to see Ryan Esders do exactly the same thing from the resulting scrum.

Then, after Fax had been penalised for stripping the ball in a three-man tackle, Garside went close on the right before Worrincy was tackled in goal after claiming a Thorman kick.

Worrincy then won a penalty on half way with a quick scoot from acting half back, allowing Nash to go close.

York hit back from a penalty and only an last ditch ankle tap by Smith prevented Rhys Clarke from storming over in the corner.

Beswick thought he had kicked a 40-20 12 minutes after the break, but the touchjudge and Mr Roby disagreed.

Haley raced 40 metres before a speculative offload handed back possession to York

And a minute later the centre regathered a Black chip on the last tackle but could not find a teammate.

Nash, Smith and Beswick combined well to take Fax down field, but the Jones kick at the end of the set was far too strong and bounced over the deadball line.

And York made the most of that by going straight down the other end of the field, ending the set with a Thorman kick that Greenwood was unable to gather and Esders pounced for the try.

Thorman’s conversion gave the home side a 20-4 lead.

Jones compounded Halifax’s misery by sending an attempted short restart into touch on the full.

And he was a mightily relieved man when the video referee ruled that Benson had knocked on as he attempted to put the ball down over the line from the resulting set of six.

Successive penalties took Halifax deep into York territory but a poor pass gave Joe Chandler no chance at all of collecting.

And Fax looked odds on to score with 11 minutes remaining when Greenwood took a Black pass and found Jones, but Thackeray smacked the ball out of his hands 10 yards short of the line.

Fax forced a goalline drop out soon after and both Nash and Greenwood went close as they tried desperately to get more points on the board.

They eventually did when Jones put a kick to the corner and it rolled through to White who bagged his second try of the night.

That should have given Fax a bonus point but they gave away a penalty on the hooter and Thorman sent the ball between the posts to complete the scoring.