Cougars are blown away as Halifax turn on style in second-half romp

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Halifax turned on the style after the break to emerge comfortable winners of their West Yorkshire derby against Keighley at the Shay.

Karl Harrison’s side led just 6-4 at half-time and saw the Cougars draw level at 6-6 with a Danny Lawton penalty.

That was as good as it got for the visitors though as four tries in quick succession, from in-form props Tony Tonks and Luke Ambler, centre Adam Robinson and captain Scott Murrell pushed the score out to 28-6 and killed the evening as a contest.

Ross Divorty and Tommy Saxton both sprinted in late in the game as Halifax kept up the chase for a second-placed Championship finish and the £450,000 in prize money that goes with it.

The Cougars who took the lead when James Feather exploited average defence, Paul Handforth missing the conversion.

Ross Divorty and Peter Fox were both stopped short in quick succession, before the Keighley defence finally gave way to a Jack Spencer try. Murrell converted and the home side proceeded to dominate the rest of the half, with Fieldhouse being pulled back for a forward pass after Murrell slipped him clear.

But it remained 6-4 until half time, after which the home side were always in charge.

Halifax: Fieldhouse; Fox, Robinson, Casey, Saxton; Mennell, Murrell; Tonks, Kaye, Ambler, Adamson, Divorty, Bracek. Substitutes: Holden, Johnston, Brooks, Spencer.

Keighley: Craven; Barnett, Lawton, Haley, Williams; White, Handforth; Rawlins, Feather, Hesketh, Lynam, Pursglove, Lindsay. Substitutes: Sheriffe, Sagar, Shickell, Haigh

Referee: C. Kendall (RFL).

The inaugural Kingstone Press Championship Summer Bash – a take on Super League’s Magic Weekend – will take place on the Bank Holiday weekend of May 23/24 at Blackpool next season, with six games from the new-look competition’s second tier.

Dewsbury Rams could give a debut to Ben Hellewell, on loan from Featherstone Rovers, in tonight’s Championship visit from Swinton Lions, while Hunslet Hawks head to Gateshead Thunder in Championship One.

Results

First Utility Super League

Widnes (12) 20 Castleford (22) 40

tries: Flynn, Galea tries: Dorn, Holmes
Ah Van, Dean Clark 3, Shenton 2
goals: Tickle 2 goals: Sneyd 6
Att: 4,562

Kingstone Press Championship

Halifax (6) 38 Keighley (4) 6

tries: Spencer, Tonks try: Feather
Robinson, Ambler, Murrell goal: Lawton 
Divorty, Saxton
goals: Murrell 4, Mennell Att: 1,519