Vandals win Ovenden Park derby
Halifax Vandals turned in a terrific away day performance full of power, control and utter determination to win 27-0 away to Halifax yesterday.
Their bonus point success, achieved in front of a large and vociferous crowd at Ovenden Park, maintained their promotion drive in Yorkshire Three.
The first half was a ferocious affair with both packs tearing into each other but a slippy ball made it difficult to move the ball wide.
Vandals dominated the line out through Sim and Richardson and they gradually built momentum to establish a healthy half time lead.
They conceded penalties in the second half but Halifax, boosted by their first win of the season the previous week, were unable to take advantage of their possession and advanced field position.
Halifax started the match in encouraging style down the slope with a series of powerful driving mauls and impressive running from centre Ben Mather.
Desperate defence caused Vandals to collapse a maul but the penalty was pushed wide.
Vandals drove deep into the Halifax half. After a series of powerful runs from Matthew Maeer and Nathan Hall, Ben Burnside was deemed to have been held up over the try line.
From the resulting scrum Martin Hamer demonstrated terrific dexterity to slip an inside pass to Joe Gallagher, who stormed over the line with half the Halifax pack clinging on to him.
Jimmy Crowther converted from the touchline.
The inspirational Tony Curtis continually made ground for the hosts but strong defence and powerful scrummaging kept the Vandals on the front foot.
Luke Sutcliffe and Paul Jowett both went close before a driving maul marched the Halifax pack back and Martin Hamer showed great strength to force the ball down over the try line. Crowther missed his first kick in three games from the touch line but Vandals led 12-0.
Vandals lost outstanding second row Jamie Richardson to the sin bin but still stretched their lead to 15-0 with a Carrington penalty on 45 minutes.
The visitors were enjoying their best passage of play and scrum half Luke Sutcliffe showed brilliant awareness and power to drive through for a well deserved try.
Another touchline conversion from Crowther gave Vandals a healthy 22-0 lead.
Halifax stand off Nick Bell produced a brilliant break from his own half and Halifax camped in the Vandals half for an extended period, helped by a string of penalties.
However, Halifax failed to capitalise and the Vandals defence, led brilliantly by Andy Binns and Joe Bryson, coped easily.
On 75 minutes Vandals claimed their bonus point try. From a scrum, Joe Gallagher’s exquisite cross field kick was taken by Crowther, who sprinted in at the corner.
Buoyant Vandals coach Jamie Bloem said: “To a man I felt we were very efficient and played some really good stuff.”