Fev cash in on Halifax’s bad luck to take home points

Joe Arundel
Joe Arundel
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Halifax suffered a second successive home defeat, this time against Featherstone Rovers, eventually going down 24-12 in a contest they will feel they could, and arguably should, have won.

Rovers looked the sharper side in the opening minutes, when Paul Sykes slipped between Steve Tyrer and Tommy Saxton to score.

Worse was to follow for Fax as Miles Greenwood departed on a stretcher after an innocuous incident in the in goal in which he broke his leg.

Fax looked understandably shell shocked at that point and Rovers profited, Tom Johnstone, one of their Wakefield contingent, rising above James Saltonstall to claim Gareth Moore’s kick.

The visitors finally cracked when Tyrer claimed Scott Murrell’s cross-kick, the centre adding a conversion from touch for 10-6. And Fax might have been in front at the break, Ben Heaton being stopped just short and Richard Moore juggling, and ultimately spilling, a clever early kick from Murrell with the line open seconds before the hooter.

Jacob Fairbank looked a certain scorer early in the second half, his long break only ending as he stumbled in the sand in front of the South Stand, and Tyrer was then denied as a huge overlap on the right went begging.

The sin-binning of the inspirational Murrell, for an allegedly late challenge on Rovers’ hooker Sam Irwin, let Fev off the hook and the ever-dangerous Andy Ellis poached a close-range try that put the visitors 16-6 ahead.

Another contentious decision from referee George Stokes, penalising Saltonstall in possession, allowed Sykes to extend that to 18-6, a deficit that was finally reduced when Johnston’s break set-up Mitch Cahalane’s try. Tyrer converted, but Joe Arundel’s late try summed up an afternoon when everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for the hosts.

Halifax: Greenwood; Saxton, Heaton, Tyrer, Saltonstall; Place, Murrell; Cahalane, Maneely, Ambler, Robinson, Manning, Bracek. Subs: Tangata, Moore, Johnston, Fairbank.

Featherstone: Sharp; Hitchcox, Arundel, Sykes, Johnstone; Godinet, Moore; Baldwinson, Irwin, Wood, Cording, Foster, Spears. Subs: Ellis, Bostock, Trout, Ormondroyd.

Referee: George Stokes.

Attendance: 2,187.

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