Halifax secured another crucial Championship success with a defensively dominant 24-8 win over Dewsbury at Rams Stadium.
Richard Marshall’s side overcame an 8-0 deficit to lead 10-8 at the break and never looked in danger as they comprehensively smothered their hosts after the interval to maintain their top four challenge. Neither side was overly creative during the opening quarter, although what half chances there were fell Halifax’s way, with Ben Heaton and Ben Johnston both breaking the line without managing to find support.
Ironically, after struggling for field position for lengthy spells, it was Dewsbury who finally breached the line just before the half hour, forward Scott Hale running onto an Andy Kain pass to score on the right.
Paul Sykes could not add the conversion, but the Rams were in again before Halifax had touched the ball again, Sykes kicking across the field and winger Dale Morton claiming the try.
Sykes’ sideline kick drifted wide, but at 8-0 the Rams looked handily placed.
But a Gareth Moore kick and chase on the last tackle saw the half back open Halifax’s account, centre Steve Tyrer converting from close to touch.
And the visitors claimed a lead they just about merited on the stroke of half time, Scott Murrell kicking wide and James Saltonstall leaping high to claim the ball and the try.
Tyrer’s kick drifted just wide, but the teams went to the break at 10-8.
Halifax extended their lead early in the second half, the replacement hooker Connor Robinson slipping Mitch Cahalane under the posts and Tyrer converting for a 16-8 advantage.
As they slowly but surely began to dominate in the middle of the field, the visitors added a penalty with 18 minutes to go, Tyrer tapping it over after Simon Grix had threatened on the left. Leading 18-8, the visitors strangled the life out of their hosts in the final quarter with some terrific defence and finally made certain when Robinson scored with five minutes remaining, Tyrer converting.
Dewsbury: Guzdek; Morton, Crookes, Grady, Grant; Sykes, Kain; Groat, Speakman, Jackson, Hale, Muranka, Adamson. Subs: Conroy, Teanby, Pryce, Tonks
Halifax: Johnston; Sharp, Heaton, Tyrer, Saltonstall; G. Moore, Murrell; Cahalane, Kaye, Tangata, Manning, Sarsfield, Fairbank. Subs: Robinson, Ambler, Grix, Boyle
Referee: M. Woodhead (RFL).