Rams top six hopes suffer a set back

Dewsbury's Jason Muranka beats Halifax's Ben Heaton during Sunday's clash.Pictures: Paul Butterfield
Dewsbury's Jason Muranka beats Halifax's Ben Heaton during Sunday's clash.Pictures: Paul Butterfield

Dewsbury’s hopes of a top-six finish in the Kingstone Press Championship suffered a set back when they lost 24-6 at home to Halifax last Sunday.

The Rams defended well to thwart early Fax pressure before striking with two tries in the space of three minutes.

Although Ben Heaton and Ben Johnson went close to scoring in the opening quarter, they were thwarted by solid Dewsbury defending.

Tony Tonks and Jack Teanby were introduced from the bench and gave the Rams a boost, driving the home side forward to set up attacks.

They took advantage from good field position and Andy Kain’s slick pass sent Scott Hale racing through a gap and over for a try wide on the right, which Paul Sykes was unable to convert.

From the Rams next attack, Sykes launched a lovely crossfield kick which Dale Morton gathered to score.

Sykes’ touchline conversion attempt drifted wide but the Rams led 8-0.

Halifax then struck with two blows of their own before half-time.

Half-back Gareth Moore kicked through on the last tackle and was on hand to run through and regather to score out wide, with Steve Tyrer landing a fine goal.

Halifax then added a second try on the stroke of half-time when Scott Murrell kicked wide and James Saltonstall leapt above the defence to gather and score.

Tyrer’s kick drifted just wide but Fax had turned things round to lead 10-8.

Dewsbury went close early in the second half when Matt Groat broke through and fed Sykes but having beaten two defenders, the Rams half-back lost possession close to the line.

Halifax extended their with a 49th minute try when substitute hooker Connor Robinson slipped a pass to send Mitch Cahalane between the posts and Tyrer’s conversion was a formality.

Props Groat and Fax’s Mitch Calahane were sin-binned as both sides were reduced to 12 men and the visitors extended their lead to 18-6 with a Tyrer penalty.

Any hope Dewsbury had of producing a fightback was thwarted by solid Halifax defending as they sensed an opportunity to move back into the top four.

Halifax clinched victory with a fourth try five minutes from time when Robinson kicked through and won the chase to gather and score Tyrer converting.

Defeat leaves Dewsbury seventh in the Championship standings but they are now eight points behind Featherstone with only five games of the regular season left, while Halifax leapfrogged Batley to regain fourth spot.