Featherstone 34 Halifax 16: Featherstone go one game closer to the Grand Final

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FEATHERSTONE are 80 minutes away from reaching the Championship Grand Final for the fourth time in five seasons.

Scrum-half Gareth Moore scored a clever individual try and kicked five goals as second-placed Rovers recovered from 16-6 down to beat Halifax for the third time this year and book a home qualifying semi-final in two weeks’ time.

Third-placed Halifax live to fight another day in next week’s preliminary semi-final against Dewsbury Rams.

Halifax had to shuffle their team when winger Tommy Saxton pulled out in the warm up with a back injury and they lost their full-back in the sixth minute with a knee injury.

Rovers went ahead in the 12th minute when Ian Hardman and Jason Crookes combined to put in Tim Spears but Halifax struck back to snatch a 10-point lead.

Danny Cowling was thwarted by Moore’s try-saving tackle before ex-Featherstone hooker Ben Kaye plunged over from close range. Former Rovers forward Ross Divorty’s surging run then created a try for sub’ Keith Holden before player-coach Scott Murrell’s neat kick set up a touchdown for Gareth Potts. Murrell kicked his second goal.

Rovers cut the deficit to 16-12 four minutes before half-time when hooker Luke Teasdale forced his way over from a play the ball.

After an untidy start to the second-half in which both teams made numerous errors, Moore gave Rovers an important boost by sidestepping his way through to score. Four minutes later, the home side struck again when Kyle Trout powered over after Halifax’s Luke Adamson had been penalised for a high tackle on the lively Teasdale.

Featherstone sealed victory six minutes from time through Matt James to cross and they completed the scoring in the final minute with a superbly-taken try from Crookes who capitalised on Hardman’s chip kick.

Featherstone Rovers: Sharp; Blackmore, Worthington, Hardman, Crookes; Kain, Moore; Crossley, Ellis, James, Pick, Spears, Lockwood. Subs: Teasdale, Bussey, Trout, Hirst.

Halifax: Fieldhouse; Potts, Cowling, Casey, Robinson; Murrell, Mennell; Ambler, Kaye, Brooks, Manning, Divorty, Adamson. Subs: Tonks, Davies, Holden, Spencer.

Referee: George Stokes (RFL).

Attendance: 1,478

Red-carded Featherstone Rovers forward,  Richard Moore.  PIC: Tony Johnson

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