Rams graft but Fax ease to success

Dewsbury Rams v Halifax, Rugby League Northern Rail competition.'Steve Crossley of Dewsbury'Dane Manning and Ben Heaton of Halifax
Dewsbury Rams v Halifax, Rugby League Northern Rail competition.'Steve Crossley of Dewsbury'Dane Manning and Ben Heaton of Halifax

Dewsbury Rams 6

Halifax 36

By Andrew Hunt

DEWSBURY Rams suffered a mauling at the hands of a big robust Halifax side in their opening Northern Rail Cup game at Tetley’s Stadium last Sunday.

The groundstaff and a group of volunteers had worked hard to help ensure the game went ahead but Dewsbury found the going tough in heavy conditions.

Dewsbury created the first chance as they moved play left and James Craven came into the line at pace only to be tackled into touch by the corner flag.

Halifax then began to pile on the pressure and they forced the Rams to drop out on several occasions as Dewsbury struggled to contain the visitors’ big, rumbling pack.

Halifax opted to run a penalty close to the line and former Batley stand-off Paul Handforth produced a lovely reverse pass to send Craig Ashall crashing over to the left of the posts. Steve Tyrer landed the simple goal.

Dewsbury were immediately under pressure as their kick off sailed into touch and Fax hammered the penalty downfield.

Handforth’s neat grubber forced Dewsbury to drop out before Halifax moved quickly left and Wayne Reittie – one of five ex-Batley players in their starting line-up – scorched in for the try.

Steve Crossley tried hard to get the Rams moving forward in an excellent opening quarter and from the Rams’ best move of the first half, Luke Blake, Pat Walker and Craig Cook linked to send Dwayne Barker close.

Craven then met a Walker pass at pace but although he managed to get over the try line, he was held and spun onto his back.

Halifax weathered the storm and responded with a try just before half-time when lively hooker Steve Penkywicz was sent through a gap to put them 14-0 up at half-time.

Dewsbury made a bright start to the second half and Barker produced a neat crossfield run before slipping the ball onto Ayden Faal but he was held up over the try line.

Halifax went up the other end and Handforth kicked to the in-goal area. Craven did well to initially claim the ball but he was hit by a fierce tackle from Anthony Bowman, which dislodged the ball and Bowman pounced to score. Tyrer converted.

Halifax were in complete control and after Jim Gannon was denied a try for a forward pass, former Ram Adam Robinson barged over for Fax’s fifth score.

Nick Fozzard returned from the bench and lifted the crowd with three consecutive drives at the heart of the big Halifax pack.

Penkywicz was sin-binned for dissent and from the resulting penalty, Dewsbury’s best player, Crossley, barged between the posts for a deserved try which Walker improved.

It was only brief respite for the Rams though as Anthony Thackeray jinked over behind the posts and Tyrer added the goal.

Adam Smith was sin-binned for a late tackle on Handforth and after Fax drove towards the posts, Handforth pounced on a kick to the in-goal area to become his side’s seventh different scorer. Tyrer rubbed salt into Dewsbury’s wounds with the conversion.