Late Halifax rally defeats brave Dewsbury Rams

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CO-OPERATIVE Championship leaders Halifax needed a late surge to secure a 34-24 win and see-off Dewsbury Rams' brave challenge at the Tetley's Stadium.

Dewsbury were the better side for long periods and they bossed the first half, enjoying the better territory and pressure, and the visitors had to rely on two defensive errors for the two tries that kept them in the game at the break.

Rams piled on the pressure early on and Daley Williams, making his debut after his move from Batley Bulldogs, crossed the try-line but saw his effort ruled out by referee Clint Sherrard.

Halifax launched their first meaningful attack on the 10-minute mark and it resulted in the first points of the game.

Sean Penkywicz’s chipped kick on the last tackle was fumbled in defence and the loss of possession allowed Halifax to regroup and mount another raid.

Penkywicz tried his luck again with a grubber under the posts and poor defence allowed Sam Barlow to touch-down for a try goaled by Lee Paterson.

Rams refused to let the set-back discourage them however and after he had pegged Halifax back with good high kicks, Patch Walker’s inviting grubber was grounded by Crossley midway through the half.

Walker added the extras and he put Dewsbury ahead four minutes later, interference at the tackle punished with Walker’s successful penalty that made it 8-6.

Halifax kicking-off on the full handed possession straight back to the Rams and Scott Spaven put the on-rushing James Craven over the whitewash soon after.

Walker’s goal put Rams 14-6 up but another mistake, knocking-on from the kick-off, resulted in Halifax’s Sean Hesketh going over under the posts. Handforth’s conversion cut the deficit to two points at the break.

The visitors hit back seven minutes into the second half through Jim Gannon’s try from close range, Paterson’s goal edging the visitors into an 18-14 lead.

Rams fans thought they had restored their lead two minutes later but Ryan Esders failed to ground Walker’s cross-field kick.

But the hosts were not to be denied and another attack ended with Walker’s clever kick that bounced off the cross-bar and into the hands of Cosgrove who crashed over.

Walker’s fourth goal gave Rams the initiative at 20-18 and it got better for the hosts when a superb move across the width of the field put Austin Buchanan racing over in the corner to make it 24-18.

Halifax showed their fighting spirit to fight back however, former Ram Adam Robinson scoring from close range for a Paterson-goaled try to level the scores on 25 minutes.

Finishing the better, Halifax hit the front with less than 10 minutes left when Anthony Bowman raced through in the corner to score and the win was secured when Penkywicz charged over, Paterson adding the goal, in the final minute.

Dewsbury: James Craven, Daley Williams, Ryan Esders, Ayden Faal, Austin Buchanan, Patch Walker, Scott Spaven, Ben Jones, Liam Hood, Steve Crossley, Rob Spicer, Josh Tonks, Brad Singleton. Interchange: Greg Scott, Elliot Cosgrove, Billy Harris, George Flanagan.

Halifax: Ryan Fieldhouse, Rob Worrincy, Lee Paterson, James Haley, Paul White, Paul Handforth, Anthony Thackeray, Sam Barlow, Sean Penkywicz, Luke Ambler, Ross Divorty, Adam Robinson, Craig Ashall. Interchange: Anthony Bowman, Dane Manning, Sean Hesketh, Jim Gannon.

Referee: Clint Sherrard

Attendance: 1092