Match report: Halifax v Featherstone Rovers

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INJURY-hit Featherstone Rovers produced a supercharged second half showing to snatch a Co-operative Grand Final rematch victory against Halifax at the Shay.

Daryl Powell’s side trailed 20-12 at the break, but came good in the second 40 to claim three precious league points.

Rovers welcomed back key pack star Iain Morrison, with hooker or half-back Jonny Hepworth – the former Leeds and Castleford player – making his return to the 13-a-side-code after a long stint in rugby union.

But it was Halifax who took the early lead, dangerous hooker Sean Penkywicz pouncing on a moment’s hesitation from Rovers’ full-back Ian Hardman to score under the posts.

Dangerman

Half-back Danny Jones kicked the goal for a 6-0 lead, but Rovers were level four minutes later when bustling prop Tony Tonks – the visitors’ dangerman early on – blasted under the posts and Liam Finn converted.

The home side regained the lead through a Rob Worrincy touchdown, Jones on target again, but Rovers hit back again, Stuart Dickens powering in from close range.

But two quick tries from the former Wakefield Wildcats winger Paul White gave Halifax a 20-12 lead, despite a glut of Rovers pressure.

The visitors went over just four minutes into the second half though, Bryn Powell scoring in the corner to make it 20-16.

Featherstone levelled in the 54th-minute, Andy Bostock touching down after a kick from Finn and they went ahead when Andy Kain dived in, Finn kicking them 26-20 in front.

Former Dewsbury centre Bostock’s second try of the night, goaled by Finn, made it 32-20 as Rovers closed out a great win.

Halifax: Fieldhouse; White, Goddard, Paterson, Worrincy; Jones, Black; Gannon, Penkywicz, Aizue, Chandler, Bannister, Barlow. Subs: Greenwood, Beswick, Watene, Fairbank.

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Powell, Smeaton, Bostock, Saxton; Kain, Finn; Tonks, Kaye, Dickens, Grayshon, Spears, Worthington. Subs: Dee, Morrison, Hepworth, Williams.

Referee: Ronnie Laughton (Barnsley).

Attendance: 2,638

Featherstone Rovers coach Jon Sharp. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Featherstone Rovers are refusing to take their eye off the ball insists coach Sharp